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Everything posted by HelpfulTracks

  1. I think it depends heavily on the individual and how they approach it. Out of the last 30 years, I would guess almost half my time has been spent in work from home setup. In my current job, prior to Covid, I would go into the office no more than a couple days a week. And that was only to maintain visibility with other teams. My team is spread across 3 continents (and several states here in the US), but I only have one team member here locally (an we have have the single largest campus in the organization). So the vast majority of my work was virtual even when I went to campus. For me, my home office is my office. I treat staying at home just like going in, same morning routine etc. My dog does snooze next to me at home, and getting a beverage or going to restroom is a shorter trip. But most things are the same now as six months ago. In fact, I think I’m more productive, even if less social. That said, it’s not for everyone.
  2. Oh crap! Serious typo. Fixed, thank you! I truly hate auto-correct.
  3. On a personal note, I am very bummed out. This was likely the last major event that my whole family could do together (with my children as youths). My son heads off to college in a few weeks and my daughter is upper classman in high school. We were all going to serve on staff. NOAC may still be an option, depending on how things shake out.
  4. Not really. The bulk of registrations come in the Spring after registration opens (in the Fall). All of the recruiting is done during Spring and Summer events; Camporees, Summer Camp etc. I am the Jambo Chair for my Council and I have talked to many families that were either waiting to see how Covid-19 shook out or were concerned about the financial impact (current and potential future) of Covid and had not yet registered. The Spring is also when we had planned to do several fundraising events for the Scouts to participate. Obviously, that did not happen. With Jambo costing between $1,500 and $3,000 (depending on transportation cost), losing that much fund raising time was crippling. Particularly since we are seeing increase in Covid cases, putting Summer and Fall fundraising at risk. There was real concern that we could end up in a situation where would have far less than 10K Scouts at Jambo and that would be a financial disaster.
  5. Awesome - you Lodge had an age limit. Almost no one else did. You think we should "bring back" the age limit. I disagree - can we move on.
  6. I have never head of an age limit from National. I just checked our records and we have several that were 13 when they went through Ordeal from 1954 to 1981. One was actually 12 (Ordeal 1966). They are from at least 6 different councils. The only limitation on the number of Scouts elected, that I am aware of, was the percentage rule which was done away with in the late 1990s. And it was not a strict number that could be elected, rather a restriction that a Scout could vote for no more than HALF of the Scouts on the ballot.
  7. When I first heard "Sacred Cows" Philmont ran through my mind. It usually generates a good deal of revenue, but two of the last three Summers have been decimated by fire and Coivd. Though I think the outcry and rage would be so significant that the loss of support would outweigh any value gained. My second thought was the Scouting Museum, particularly the Norman Rockwell Collection. There is a huge monetary value there and I would be far from shocked to see it end up in Sotheby's. It would be extremely sad to see it go but I doubt the rank and file would exit in protest in large numbers. The fiscal assets of Northern Tier and Sea base are too small to have any real impact and they both generate revenue. The Summit is in too much debt to draw a reasonable price, but might go just to eliminate the debt. Here are a few things that come to mind that could be done, some more distasteful than others I don't think many people would mind seeing the national BSA structure ripped out. Turn it into a consumer cooperative like REI. Run most things via volunteers and have minimal staff. Basically turning local councils into Cooperative franchisees - Create a NFP Coop Insurance organization for CO's allowing them to purchase liability and other insurance even covering activities and facilities not related to Scouting Get rid of National Supply - have a small staff for design and compliance - outsource uniforms to 3-4 vendors and let them compete on quality and price. Same for other goods. Sell via Amazon and other platforms. Open Source publications and make them completely digital with Print on Demand Options Open source Scoutbook, Lodgemaster, Scoutnet (or whatever is replacing it) and all other platforms and go completely paperless for registration and management Eagle Scout may become something like Religious emblems managed by a third party, like an independent NESA - setting the requirements and leveraging the marketing value through licensing fees on shirts. Take the Order of the Arrow back to its roots, as a independent third party organization. Place Philmont and other high Adventure Bases in independent Trust Im sure there a plenty more I could think of if I gave it more than a few minutes thought. But bringing Scouting back to what it used to be, volunteer based would make sense.
  8. Curious debate on the role of leadership and character in Scouting. As for the beginnings of Scouting, it was very organic. When B-P returned to England in early 1900's he found that his military tome, Aids to Scouting for NCO's, was very popular among boys and many groups were using it in their programs. (Indecently Aids to Scouting was heavily influenced by American scout Frederick Russell Burnham). B-P joined the Boys Brigade to implement his ideas there, but it did not have the impact he envisioned due to political infighting within the Brigade. But the Boys Brigade found encouraged B-P to re-write Aids to Scouting specifically for boys. B-P met with and corresponded with Ernest Thomas Seton and Dan Beard to discuss their programs and incorporate elements of those programs. B-P decided to test his ideas at Browsea Island in 1907 He published Scouting for Boys in several installments in in 1908. It was heavily influenced by Seton's work. He founded Scouts in 1910 (ironically it was not incorporated until 1912 - two years after BSA). W.D. Boyce brought the idea of Scouting back to the U.S., in part, to benefit his paperboys, who were mostly street kids. During a short time during 1910 B-P, Boyce, Seton, Beard, Edgar M. Robinson (YMCA) and James E. West, (and to a degree Teddy Roosevelt) all contributed to the formation of BSA. Why is this very abbreviated history important? Because with combination of the organizations and men who formed BSA, citizenship, character and fitness were all EXPLICIT goals of Scouting. For B-P and Roosevelt, who saw Scouting as a way to prepare youth for service, particularly military service, leadership was IMPLICIT. Particularly if you look at B-P's emphasis on youth leadership. It was also very much about education - the sub title of Scouting for Boys is A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship Through Woodcraft. So yes, Scouting is VERY much about teaching/developing character, citizenship, fitness and leadership. But I will agree with you about Scouting is also about having fun. "Yes, to a boy Scouting is a game--a wonderful game, full of play and full of laughter, keeping him busy, keeping him happy. Scouting is 'learning by doing' things that are enjoyable--exciting things! That's the strength of Scouting! A boy becomes a Scout for the sheer joy there is in it. To you and me Scouting is a game, also--but it is more than game of fun. To us, it is a game with a purpose--the purpose of helping boy to become men by training them for citizenship. Training for citizenship--that's the aim of Scouting" - Green Bar Bill Hillcourt
  9. @TAHAWK, just curious - has your council seen a greater decline in Scouting than the National Average? He sounds 180 degrees from my SE and we have seen slight growth.
  10. I agree that RECORDING training is a national objective, and that some of the training serves little purpose in the field. But I think training is critical. When I served as Training Chair I always made sure that we covered the required check boxes, but went beyond and in more detail so our classes were really making an effort to teach the this skills needed. For example in IOLS we would have EMT/WFA instructors teach First Aid. We spent a lot of time understanding Orienteering (the skill we found most Scouters had difficulty with). We also instructed Scouters on how to teach Scouts to be instructors, and how to leave space for Scouts to do that. We taught them to observe and how to be a guide when needed. I started IOLS with a simple list You need to be proficient at the skills You need to be proficient at teaching the skills You need to be proficient at teaching Scouts to teach the skills You need to be proficient at being quiet and letting the Scout teach the skills You need to be proficient at giving constructive ASSISTANCE ONLY WHEN NEEDED to the Scout teaching the skills Don't freak out, it is easier than it sounds
  11. So my question is was your SE not trained or was he just poorly trained?
  12. HelpfulTracks

    NOAC 2020

    Indeed. Sad, but not unexpected.
  13. This one of those post that makes me shake my head in bewilderment. 1. How does it equate to endorsement because National took a photo of youth wearing neckerchiefs using friendship knots? 2. I’ve know Crews that used them well before world Jambo, as was suggested (I think with tongue firmly in cheek). In fact, I my NSJ necker is laid together with world contingent necker and tied in friendship knot (it also has a unique slide in one side that was gifted to me). 3. Some youth prefer knots, some prefer slides, let them choose. (Although I can see a unit asking them to choose one or the other for uniformity). Personally, I usually use one of my neckerchiefs with friendship knot when wearing my Crew uniform and use slides with BSA uniform, and woggle when wearing WB necker. (Frankly, it’s easier to keep the friendship knot looking neat and tidy) 4. Burnham, like most cowboys tied his scarf in a knot. BP got the idea of the necker (and campaign hat) from Burnham. 5. BP himself said using a knot was knot was one way to keep a necker neat and in order. So.......knot, slider, woggle makes little difference. I’m just thrilled to see youth wearing neckerchiefs at all.
  14. I’m going to disagree with Fred and Eagle 94. It depends on the Scout and the adult leaders. My project, way back in the day, was not high tech, but had a lot of very specialized craftsmen. I did a lot of planning, site drawings and sat down with the craftsman multiple times to go over options. When the project began my Scoutmaster made sure they knew that I needed to be the leader. I directed and lead them. When we hit a snag, they would come to me and we discussed options, but I made the decisions. My son did a digital video with high end video, audio and editing equipment that was on loan, rented or purchased. He brought in people to teach the scouts how to film, do lighting and audio. The scouts did 100%!of the pre-production under his supervision. He did story boards, laid out the shot sheet and directed the production. He delegated task to other youth with clear direction on a number of things. Post-production was done by an adult because of cost and complexity of the equipment and skills needed. He went through hours of time coded video and made a detailed edit list for the editor to follow and sat with him to direct the final edits, music and audio. Technical projects are possible. The Scout and adults just need to know who is in charge.
  15. So with the Coronavirus/Covid-19 changing our country and the world on a daily and hourly basis, I expect we will see a great deal of permanent cultural changes in most societies in the near future. Among them I expect to see the handshake becoming near taboo, including the Scout handshake, and thereby the OA handshake. The left handed handshake and clasp are such an identifiable part of Scouting worldwide that it is hard to imagine it going away, but unfortunately I think it will. What method of greeting and respect, that would be unique to Scouting, could we adopt to take its place?
  16. As for dates ask the council for a Person Listing for your Scout. It will list dates for everything you need on an application.
  17. Depends on the Scout, their interest and what they have already accomplished, but some that come to mind Hornaday National Medal for Outdoor Achievement (which requires 3 Outdoor awards + other requirements) Both of those are rare awards and can be earned by youth until age 21
  18. If you still have concerns after reading these fine replies, just pull the Adviser aside and let him know. We are the Brotherhood of Cheerful Service not the Brotherhood of Fantastic Voices. I am infinitely more concerned about attitude, work ethic and character than the ability to carry a tune or remember every word. Of course I can’t carry a tune in a bucket and my memory is horrible and somehow I made it through Brotherhood and was honored with Vigil. So don’t sweat this and don’t let the youth sweat it either.
  19. I continue to hold that if you believe Scouting is emasculating our youth, it’s your own fault and you are doing it wrong. The opportunities for a great Scouting outdoors experience are there if Scouts want to take them. A friend of mine just took his Crew on a 4day/3 night 30 plus mile AT trek over the long weekend. Both of my kids are likely to earn the OAHA Triple Crown and have more than enough camping for the silver National Outdoor Award and enough high adventure for National High Adventure Award gold x 2. But they work their tails off to make it happen.
  20. This is actually a selling point for my family. I have two teen scouts, who had 10 weeks of Summer break (71 nights x 2). They had 68 scheduled nights camping between WSJ, high adventure, unit outings, NYLT, summer camp and staff. They were home all of 2 weeks at the same time. That’s more nights than an average Summer but not by much. They already have over 200 nights Scout camping between them and my youngest has been in Scouting less than 18 months. They already have 38 nights scheduled for next Summer and they aren’t done (pending how much money the raise). Throw in that I average 12-18 nights per summer, (33 nights a couple years back). Mom does NOT camp anymore and has never more than a few nights per year ever. For the last few Summers I’ve tried to figure out how to combine going to PTC with my kids doing a Philmont trek or OATC. That would take the family away from mom for another 2-3 weeks. Well, let’s just say I want to stay married, so I’ve never figured out how to pull off the PTC/Trek combo. With the glamping option I might be able to talk the wife into going out with us. The kids trek for a couple weeks, I get to PTC for one. Then the wife and I spend a week in the area sight seeing and add a few extra days on the trip back to do some things with the whole family. In our case that means a net plus of high adventure.
  21. Sure they could. All they need to do is come up with a design, slap the official OA logo on it, copyright/trademark it, make it and sell it. I have no doubt OA National would make a good deal of money and profit. But the OA does not want any patches on the back of the sash and only Anniversary patches have been approved for the front. The OA could make a nice profit on things like this, but have chosen to keep the sash free of such clutter. In addition, the legend patches expose an important part of the induction process to the general public unnecessarily.
  22. Absolutely, there were several overseas contingents at the last 2017 NSJ. In fact, they were in Subcamp Echo or Foxtrot ( can’t remember which) and it was the place to be. When the site for the Jamboree comes out it should have info for you.
  23. I know there are a couple of days left in the Jamboree but I figured I would go ahead and start a thread on how things went. The Good: from everything I am hearing, the programming has been great. Both of my kids are having a great time. They are meeting people from around the world, making friends, trying new foods (that participants brought and at the country tents where they can purchase food). They are trading items and getting a few things. Both have been to events at the Summit before, so they were more focused on meeting people than hitting the activities. But the only complaint I have heard was that lighting cut short the activities at Mount Jack, which was out of anyone’s control and understandable, still frustrating when you consider hiking 14 miles for activities. Overall I think I would give it an A, maybe even A+ based on current feedback from my youth and others I know. The Bad: I will start with what frustrates me most. Just short of half way into Jamboree, my son told me he had heard they had already consumed 70% of the food. I thought, surely it was a rumor, and even if it was not, the logistics team had time to recover. Then I saw Facebook post about rationing food. I asked my son about it this morning and he told me they were rationing for last few days. He has been purchasing food, not just for the experience, but out of being hungry. I offered to wire him some additional money since he was spending more on food and cutting back on souvenirs. He declined, he told me a Scout is thrifty and he already feels bad that he wasn’t able to raise enough money to cover the whole trip. There is no excuse for not getting the participants fed properly, particularly considering the Jamboree team should have the experience of past national Jamborees as a guide and this event was almost a $1000 more than the NSJ. However, in hindsight I am not really surprised. There have been poor decisions and bad execution for sometime when it comes to logistics. It has been a mess from day one. There have been a number if issues. The participants patches were supposed to be mailed were not received. The Jamboree store was opened to the public so some items were sold out before many participants were even emailed about the site. We were not told before the store opened that bags were being supplied (they were a separate purchase for NSJ unless Council purchased them), some parents went ahead and purchased them because of concerns they would run out. We had to go to multiple sites to purchase SWAG. Virtually every order was wrong, missing items, even included items not ordered, wrong sizes etc. Orders were canceled without explanation or notice even after card was charged. USA contingent items, including neckers, were available on site for anyone to purchase making the trade value nearly far less (kids had hard time trading neckers because there were for sale). Some USA contingent items were at trading post onsite but never on the internet, so USA kids missed out on getting them. Venturing units were setup regionally, not by council, so one of my kids units was shuffled 3 times, making communication with leaders difficult. At one time we were told the original unit was collapsed into another unit and there would be new leaders. It was weeks before we knew who those leaders were. Both of my kids received emails from leaders from units they were not assigned to, including my son, who is in our councils troop. The SWAG issue is frustrating and disappointing, but the food issue is intolerable. Particularly, since it has had a negative impact on my son enjoying the last few days ( he is SPL and had to spend extra time dealing with getting his troop fed and dealing with unhappy Scouts - something he should not have had to deal with) I would give logistics a D-, maybe an F. I am just sad that such a great program has been lessened because of poor logistical planning and food. I will get more details when they return.
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