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About swilliams

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    Troop Advancement , Troop Committee, Crew Associate Advisor

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    Central NJ

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  1. The fight happened outside of scouting. Online gaming. Ugh. One accused the other of cheating, and it was all downhill afterward, allegedly with a bunch of name-calling and 'your mother' comments thrown in as well. That seems pretty typical and straight-up to me (being one of eight kids in my family and having four of my own, lol). My worry is that this has morphed into bullying in the scout world. Hope the SM gets back to one of us soon.
  2. Here to pick your brains while I wait for our Scoutmaster to be available. I did a quick search, but (surprisingly, or not) there are a LOT of topics that contain the words 'scout' and 'conflict'. I was encouraging one of our scouts to go on our camping trip coming up this weekend. He's an older scout (age 15, joined about 18 months ago) who is still not First Class. He wants to advance, so this would finally have given him some of the opportunities we've been missing during Covid times to complete some camping-related requirements. He had one excuse after the next, and it came to light (after I got a text from his mom) that he'd gotten into a fight with another scout. Details that might be pertinent. It wasn't a physical fight. I haven't had a chance to speak to the Scoutmaster. The boy's mom emailed the SM and myself this morning, but he has not answered the email yet. The scout doesn't want to come to tonight's meeting, either. I did NOT bring this up with either scout or the other boy's parents: this is just a what-would-you-do question. I only have one side of the story, but am being told the other boy has been ostracizing/bullying the first about various things such as his 2nd Class rank.
  3. What a strange image, right? Who came up with this idea during the plague? Someone sadistic, I’m sure. “Let’s scare the plague out of the patient.” 😂 These went over so well that I have to buy more fabric and do another batch, and the SM said he “sees a t-shirt in our future”.
  4. Wasn’t quite sure where to put this, but wanted to share something I made to celebrate our first in-person Troop meeting since the first of March. Plague Doctor neckerchief. 😆
  5. I'll add that a lot of the EU members have also opened borders with neighboring countries as well (beginning May 15th), and the numbers of new daily cases in the EU is still trending downward. We have twelve scouts who didn't sign up for Philmont this year, as they are 13 and newly-turned 14 year olds. Now that this year is canceled, the troop is giving the same scouts who were signed up for this year first dibs at going next year. (If we have a slot - there are 14 crews wanting 11 spots in our council.) Now these younger scouts will have two years to wait before they can go. With the loss of cash flow from this year, the bankruptcy and the litigation, I'm feeling pessimistic about their chances to ever experience Philmont.
  6. Kind of confused... if the parents wouldn't bring their kids out, how are they okay with sending them to camp? The virus isn't going to disappear in four more weeks. Anyway, I'm still not convinced overnight camps are going to be open. Murphy seems to be very hesitant to open things up. I had hoped he'd have addressed outdoor pools by now. I think half our parents, at a minimum, are ready to let their kids get together. Recently, six scouts in our troop just happened to be doing their 15 mile hike in the same location at the same time. (Something tells me they might coincidentally find themselves in the same location for their 20 mile.) Then a seventh scout found out about it and has asked my son if our 'family' might be doing a shorter hike at some point in the next week. His 'family' might just happen to be doing the same thing. 🤣 This sounds very alien/Star Trek-y, lol.
  7. At our round table last night, two units said they are not going. That not only were the scouts less-than-thrilled with the proposed program, but that they didn’t think they could get dedicated adults to go. (By dedicated, they meant assigned to a pod for the entire week.) A couple leaders questioned why we still aren’t allowed by council to have in-person meetings when the governor has OK’d gathering of 25.
  8. We’re all (scouts, SM, ASMs, and committee) supposed to come up with ideas. We’re ‘meeting’ tomorrow night to put the ideas forward.
  9. There is a very large parking lot adjacent to one of the schools. I’ll check, but I’d think that if you’re not on the roads, it would be okay. It sounds like fun. Something that’s been sorely missing lately. Maybe even make a chariot pulled by a bicycle or something similar.
  10. As of this moment, our council is still not allowing any in-person scouting, despite the NJ governor giving the okay for meetings of up to 25 people, as long as masks are worn and distancing takes place. So... this means that unless something changes very soon, we will be having our end-of-school-year COH online. I'm so Covid'ed out that I think maybe we should cancel the whole thing. My 'Cheerful' is gone. The best I can muster might be a lackluster persistence. In any case, I'll still try to come up with at least one or two ideas for presenting our Troop's scouts with their two rank advancements and four merit badges (sad, sad). Interested in hearing what others are doing/have done. Also, we have one scout who has reached the amazing feat of over 300 hours of service in his time as a scout. Any cool ideas for that? Our troop wants to get him a plaque, which is nice, but also kind of lackluster, imho. Whatever we do for him, I want to make sure it will fit in a pillowcase. When he was SPL, he instituted the practice of giving 'awards' at the end of the Troop meetings, and having scouts pick something from a pillowcase of stuff (little things like a foam airplane, a mini soccer ball, water balloons, etc.) Of course, this became known as "J***'s sack'. Cue the inappropriate but very funny scout comments. In his honor, I think we MUST present whatever it is in a sack.
  11. That would bring council/national fees to $96. Our troop has always set fees at $100 (and did so last year, even with the increase). There's no way we get by only getting $4 from scouts for the year. That doesn't even cover the cost of the handbook (Troop provided), let alone the class B shirt and neckerchief we give new scouts, rank patches and MB patches, etc.
  12. This was shown at our council's Town Hall meeting tonight. It wasn't clear to me, but I think our council will also charge a $12 insurance fee and an $18 activity fee. Or maybe those fees are part of the $66?
  13. Just watched a town hall with PPC. Winnebago is NOT a go at this point. State hasn't okayed overnight camps. I was surprised. Our Troop presented the option as though it were definitely happening.
  14. I'm going to be a little argumentative here. While I agree with what you wrote, it has been my experience - through the scouts in our troop - that this is easier said than done. We have been having major issues with getting MB counselors hooked up with scouts. Far higher numbers of counselors than usual are completely unresponsive to scout inquiries. For example, a Gardening MB counselor said he was doing a call with a group of scouts this past weekend, yet never emailed our two scouts who were interested with information regarding time or manner of call. When the scouts were given the number of the second counselor in our district (we only have two), the scout reported that the phone rang continuously without ever going to voicemail. Anyway, that's slightly of off the main meat of the online course issue not being accepted. Our council (through the Scoutmaster, so not first-hand) has indicated that it won't accept partials from outside councils/online courses for completion at their summer camp. At the same time, they are planning on hosting their own online courses. Given this from Guide to Advancement, how does that square? As to the very last part, if that guideline is followed - and this is what it looks like you are saying above - it would negate summer camp sessions, merit badge fairs, jamborees, and any sessions our council is hosting. Definitely needs clarification and seems somewhat contradictory. "The unit leader and Scout should come to agreement as to who the counselor will be. Lacking agreement, the Scout must be allowed to work with the counselor of his or her choice, so long as the counselor is registered and has been approved by the council advancement committee." "It is acceptable for a counselor registered in one council to approve merit badges for Scouts in another. This is an important consideration, especially in areas where counselors are scarce, when Scouts are away from home and want to continue advancing, or when merit badge experiences include web-based components provided by someone in another council." "Large group and web-based instruction, while perhaps efficient, do not measure up in terms of the desired outcomes with regard to learning and positive adult association."
  15. Scoutmaster suggested contacting our District MB Dean, which I did. Not only did he say “I can’t help you”, he said he doubts anything acceptable, as far as Sustainability goes, can be done in an online class. Great. More worrisome in terms of MBs in general, is that he said our council is “vigorously debating” whether to sign off on any requirements for their upcoming online MB offerings. What the heck? Call me crazy, but why would a teenager sit through an online class (debate whether that’s a correct term, or not, but to kids it is) if there’s nothing accomplished from it: if they still have to meet with someone else for the requirements to be signed? Feeling very fed up with this whole Covid situation. I wouldn't be surprised if we come out of this with half the number of scouts we had prior.
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