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Everything posted by HelpfulTracks

  1. This goes back to my comment of teaching in context. If a scout is being taught how to set up a tarp or secure a load using 2HH, then there really is no need to sign of at that time. By the time the Scout wants to get sign off he has tied they knot a dozen or more times. When he comes for sign off he can usually do the knot, he may need some prodding, like "remember that knot you used to set up the tarp." But they usually remember, even if they have to think about it for a moment.
  2. Sounds like an outstanding leader. Getting Scouts involved and active is critical.
  3. This is the problem I have with "Instruction for Advancement." If Scout learns so they can get a check or signature next to a requirement on a page in a book, they will not retain it. Learning Scouting skills should be done in context. A scout learning a taut-line hitch so he can set up his tent or dinning fly properly, build camp gadgets etc., will be much more likely to retain that knowledge.
  4. Retention in our Troop has been good. IN the last 3 years we have gone from about 30 to about 50 Scouts. In that time we have lost 4 Scouts due to losing interest. Two more we lost due to moving out of the area, the rest aged out, most attained Eagle Scout. Most of those I have seen leave from other Troops early have either moved on to Venturing or quit Scouting after attaining Eagle, though there are always a few that find out that scouting is not for them or get caught up in other activities as they age, usually when they hit 16-17. My son started in a different Troop, it wasn't a fi
  5. You will likely get a lot of questions about your opinions. What was your favorite x? What was your least favorite y? How could Scouting/your troop/summer camp be improved? What does becoming an Eagle Scout mean to you? How will you give back to Scouting? When I ask "personal opinion" questions, I am concerned with HOW a Scout responds, not that their opinion is aligned with mine. Do they pass on the question, give an off the cuff or dismissive answer, or do they consider the issue and give a well thought out answer. Routinely I see Scouts/Scouters say "they didn't ask me," when it com
  6. As for being "uncool," modeling behavior works. My son would ditch his uniform top and necker whenever we stopped somewhere on the way home from meeting. He would tell me it was too hot, or uncomfortable or he didn't want to get anything on it. I never objected, but I left mine in tact. Frequently, people would comment on my uniform or ask questions or tell me their scouting stories. I have had numerous people come up and shake my hand and say thank you, and a few times, when I asked for the check for our meal, I have been told someone had already paid it. It wasn't long before my so
  7. Maybe your pack leaders should consider wearing the neckers. Leaders have a strong influence on the youth by modeling the behavior that is expected of them.
  8. Do the scouts in your troop wear them? In either case, who made the decision to wear/not wear them?
  9. "Scouting is a game with a purpose" and digital vs analog. Scouts remember Pokémon (or any other game) because they are having fun. Knowing the games details, like Pokémon's abilities, is a natural extension of the fun. Far too often, Scouting's "gems" have become class work and drudgery. Scout's will do what they enjoy (or need to know to have fun) hundreds or thousands of times. They will do what they MUST, but don't see as fun, as little as humanly possible. The repetition is what makes it part of their memory. Youth today are grounded in the digital world. Much, if not most, of t
  10. So as an adult Scouter, are you a volunteer or a paying customer? Are you only there to get out of it what you paid, or maybe get more out of it if you got a good deal? Or are you paying AND there to do for others? Should we stop considering service that scouts provide as volunteering? Since they are paying registration fees, does that mean they are only there for themselves and not for others? Yes, there is a big difference between training and development. But both managers and leaders are trained AND hopefully developed. If not you have managers without much future and leaders witho
  11. As to the original post, "who is running the show?" I guess that depends on how you define "running" and the "show." Different elements of the organization have different responsibilities and to different primary stakeholders and thus different levels of authority. The CO, the committee, the SM corps, the PLC, SPL, PL, the scouts, district, council and national all have different responsibilities and accountability on different scales. National has the ultimate veto power on certain things, the CO has ultimate veto power on certain things, they have agreed to that by contract (
  12. Scouts are volunteers, unless mom and dad are forcing then to be there. Scouters are volunteers. Just like athletes, business people, churches, and a vast many other organizations. Those people chose to be there, and those that lead chose to do so, no one forces them. A volunteer MAY only want to serve, but leaders are needed and usually emerge. Regardless, I do not see how that has anything to do with the concept that one cannot train leaders. I stopped at military and and the academies in my examples, because those organizations train leaders everyday. But so do businesses, universities,
  13. There are a slew of organizations that would disagree with the idea you cannot train leaders. Not the least of which would be 5 branches of the military and 3 military academies.
  14. Training doesn't drive the program, and that is not what I said. I said it is a focus, as other other things. In addition, I said it was the scouts focus on training, through doing and having fun. But adventure doesn't drive our program either. The scouts drive our program through their plans. Sometimes they plan adventure, sometimes training, sometimes it is something else. Regardless, they drive the program. If letting them drive is a slippery slope then I'll just have to grab my axe and crampons. On top of that BP was pro training, so once again, I am good with being on that sli
  15. I think that goes without saying. Some scouts do not readily accept unsolicited help for various reasons. Others do, because they are eager to learn from the ones they look up to, usually the older scouts. Those they don't want to be taught may change their mind when they wake up in the middle of night with a soaked sleeping bag because they didn't properly set their fly. Or the next day when they SPL is singing the praises of another patrol for how well their camp is set. Or when other scouts choose not to tent with them because they don't want to be in a tent that collapses on them in the mi
  16. With all due respect, you read that into my post. I never said advancement should drive the program. But no one method should. All 8 methods are on equal footing. As adults we need to make sure that all 8 methods are being given due weight. In fact I am surprised that I need to expound on this at all. In my scouting experience, teaching, learning, advancement, character building, leadership skills and more are integrated into an outdoor program. Sometimes it is high adventure, sometimes its just good old camping or a day hike, or games/competitions or some other activities the scouts have
  17. I apparently have been taught a vastly different version of EDGE method, because it is not done in a vacuum and it is not done only once. There is nothing in the EDGE method that says a scout cannot have read about it or even learned as skill to some extent, or tried and failed or tried an succeeded to some extent. I learned/and taught via the EDGE method long before I knew the term EDGE method. It simply a 1,2,3,4 process and I am done. Using the example above. Sammy Star Scout sees, Nate New Scout putting up his tent but struggling. Sammy goes over and ask if he needs help. Nate
  18. Honestly I am not following you post or meaning, or the distinction you are drawing from my previous post, so I will go back to what I stated before. Advancement can be achieved through mastering scouting skills, which can be done through activities the scout is doing and having fun. I fail to see the slippery slope in any of that.
  19. I cannot agree that teaching is a slippery slope. Older scouts using the EDGE method to show a younger scouts how to pitch a tent, build a fire, use a map and compass, build a pioneer gateway etc., is in my opinion, exactly what scouting is about. In fact it is part of the requirements for rank advancement to teach. If a scout sees a another scout struggling to set up tent improperly he should step in and offer assistance. "Let me explain to you about setting up your tent. Now I'll show you Now you try it. Good, you have it, now pass it along."
  20. I wonder where this is coming from. The National meeting is still a few weeks off. You just mentioned call out. Is this supposed to apply to Ordeal/Brotherhood/Vigil? What about conclaves and Pow Wow's? Could this possibly be someone trolling/punking you?
  21. I agree that there is no need to rush. But it is can also be an easy goal to reach if the troop is focused on teaching scout skills. First Class rank is an achievement of mastering the craft of Scouting. If the troop (and I mean youth), are learning, using, perfecting and teaching other scouts the skills of scouting then First Class will come naturally and more likely, sooner rather than later, because they are doing & having fun. If I had to pick to change only one thing about rank advancement, it would be replace all the words 'explain', 'tell,' 'discuss' with 'show,' 'do,' 'demonstr
  22. Good Luck! Remember, try to enjoy it as well. It is the only Eagle project you will do. I hope you feel better.
  23. I will tell him congrats for two reasons. "One of" the most rewarding experiences does not rule out those experiences with youth. Second, as someone that trains scouts and scouters, it has a ripple effect. When I see a light go off for a PL or ASPL or SPL etc., it is even very gratifying because the effect I had on that scout will be repeated multiple times and possibly through multiple levels. Same is true for an adult leader. If an adult I am training gets it, heads back to his/her troop with great enthusiasm, a boy-led mentality and a better tool box with which to help the s
  24. Unfortunately, most do not actually earn the merit badges. Some requirements get signed off that could not possibly have been completed. A more frequent issue is the "DO, Show, Demonstrate" parts of the MB are done, shown or demonstrated by the counselor in a group setting. This past Summer at our camp, the MB classes were given by instructors (many of which are under 18 and cannot be counselors anyway). The instructors would sign off that requirements had been covered, but MB Counselors back at the unit (or Counselors from District or Council) would test the Scout and sign off if they
  25. Apparently, Sam Strahan, the young man that confronted the shooter at Freeman High School last week, was a Scout. His father, who died in a accident this past June was a Scout Leader. Sam is credited for saving lives by trying to stop the shooter, giving others time to flee. It appears Sam did not attack the shooter when his gun jammed, rather he tried to talk him down. Sam was the only person killed by the shooter. Three others were injured. A Scout is Brave. Thoughts and prayers with his family and friends. http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/14/us/student-killed-confronting-shoot
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