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Everything posted by jeanvaljean

  1. jeanvaljean

    When To Not Be Calm?

    isn't that your job as the SPL? I don't think you did anything wrong at all based on what you have stated. Stick to your position, leadership is not a popularity contest, but doing/saying the right things when needed in this case. Also, I don't know why not everyone from the troop attendees is helping. isn't scout helpful? maybe obedient also in this case?.
  2. maybe teach was not the right word, but the meaning is the same, when a scout is looking for a nuclear science, or digital tech etc MB, they can't just grasp the concept by reading or researching, as a MB I think it is my duty to explain, guide and yes sometimes lecture so they can understand the concept. Maybe you are right and I am wrong. I don't know, I just volunteer to help the scouts learn about something new and hopefully one day it will be their job or a hobby.
  3. my 2 cents, I had to teach one MB for our troop since no one was willing or qualified to do it (a more technical one), my kid did sign up, my rule was to teach the whole thing for a group, it went well, since 7 out of 10 finished and got their blue cards signed. I also, to be transparent, wrote on my son's record, done in a group, so in case there is a problem, at least it will be known that it was not a one on one with just my son. Hope this helps ... Besides of that, I am finding it extremely hard for troops to give their scouts the opportunities to earn MB, it seems like it is always capped or frowned upon, which I really don't understand why ....
  4. jeanvaljean

    BSA 2017 Solar Eclipse patch

    would the scout's store have it in hand next week, or orders should have been made earlier?
  5. jeanvaljean

    What makes them stay with Scouting?

    all good answers above, and great contribution, thank you. my humble reply would be it depends on the scout personality, and from experience, one of my boys is activity and achievement driven, so what drives him is working on MB, working on service hours, getting things done, so as long as the troop offers the support and opportunities, he will keep doing what he doing until he is 18. My other son is more sociable, he enjoys camping and enjoys interacting with other scouts, he always gets an entourage within 15 min of meeting new people, so as long as these opportunities are there, I think he will stay interested. my kids are younger, I am not sure what will happen when they start highschool, probably a different ball game ... hope this helps ...
  6. jeanvaljean

    BSA policies regarding withholding advancement

    I would transfer both my kids, obviously this environment is not good for them, sometimes we have to make hard decision. Regardless of the outcome of your investigation or whatnot with the SM, he will always have a cross hair on your child, eventually it will make your son quit scouting ...
  7. jeanvaljean

    What invasive species does your unit remove?

    we remove garlic mustard, spotted knapweeds and giant hogweed, all in the midwest region ...
  8. Please feel free to criticize me if you think I am wrong, I am not venting, I am very disapointed and angry that my kids will have to pay for some adults' incompetence and power trip. I have been posting about couple of things and everytime I encounter a situation I come here for advice and I read the BSA rules etc. I thought I was over the hump with the SM about a first year earning MB, and he allowed him to work on 2, which my son did finish. He came with his older brother asking for another card for a MB that won't be offered at their troop and once again he was denied. the MB coordinator had a fit about how come we are going to the outstide to earn the badge blah blah blah. I asked the SM what's the problem and he started telling me about how we need to investigate who these outside MB counselors are, I said, the person that my son asked to help is a MB for another troop, apparently he did not like this answer. At that point my blood started to boil, so I chose to walk away, maybe it was disrespectful of me, but I did not want to get angry and make a scene, I simply chose to walk away and leave. Now I am convinced that this troop is not for us, and I should have moved away at the first signs of drama and politics, but I did not. I won't be able to join the new troop until most likely the fall, which means all my kids plans on working on MBs this summer won't happen, since they won't have any signed blue card. To make matters worse, I alreayd paid for their summer camp in July, so not sure how that will impact our situation. I am so disapointed that things came to this, I always believed that scouts is about the kids and giving the kids the opportunities they ask for.
  9. jeanvaljean

    unfortunately we have to walk away

    I see your point and it is debatable for sure. In my case, my kids wanted to do more, I did not push them for anything, they are the ones interested in working on such and such. My role as their dad to make sure they get the opportunity. Also, just my opinion, the MB goal is to introduce the scout into a topic they are not familiar with, so they can get a small taste of what it is and hopefully if they really like it, they can make it a career or a hobby. But if you don't try something or even learn about it how would you know what it is and if you like it .... the conclusion is not to give them out as Tic Tac, but to give them to scouts who really earned them. My 2 cents ...
  10. Hello all, I just took the training and added more MB to my counseling list. At the moment I am the only one at the troop for a merit badge, I have about 10 scouts signed up and my son is one of them. Obviously I don't give him any preferential treatment and I am usually harsher on him just because I set the bar higher along with my expectations of his work. During the training, the lady made it a point that I should not sign anything related to my son, because in her own words, in an audit that can be a conflict of interest etc. The problem, we don't have any other adult as a MB counselor for this badge. So what do I do? are the rules cut and dry on this? someone told me that since it is a group effort then it is OK to sign for my own son. Can you please shed some light to this dilema? thank you ...
  11. jeanvaljean

    can I sign for my own son's work

    Thanks for your inputs, as usual.
  12. jeanvaljean

    Merit Badge Worksheets

    Scout is not supposed to do that, it contradicts "honest", what's the point of being a scout if you are cutting corners and not following the law and the spirit ... Major fail in my opinion ...
  13. jeanvaljean

    Merit Badge Worksheets

    Being a MB counselor myself, I do like the scouts using the worksheets for couple of reasons: 1. It keeps them focused on what to work on, I try to keep my speeches short and direct 2. It gives them a record to work with since MB badges take more than one session to do 3. It helps give them certain things to do at home outside the MB sessions this is my experience and I know some scouts like to keep the filled out forms in case they ever like to go back and look up a definition or info on a topic.
  14. jeanvaljean

    Sad news from Florida

    May God rests his soul, and comfort his family and friends. Amen.
  15. jeanvaljean

    summer camp - tent camping count

    Thank you all for pitching in, it is a lot clearer for me now, just as a side note, we go a day before the camp officially opens and we (the scouts) do pitch our own tents. This forum is really great, tons of information and knowledge, thank you ... An educated parent translates to a great son's scouting experience ...
  16. asking for some clarification, I did google and read around, but it is not clear or at least not logical, so I thought to ask here due to the wealth in knowledge. why summer camp tent camping only count once for that camp, I was told that the first time a scout attends a summer camp they get credit for 6 camping nights, but if they attend the same summer camp the following year, none of the tent camping nights count for the Camping MB. is this true? if yes, then why? not sure I follow the logic behind it, isn't tent camping a tent camping regardless of what camp it is on?
  17. first post, first timer on this blog. My son loves being a scout, and he loves working on his merit badges, unfortunately, we are not able to find opportunities for him. We got luck with couple of MB Mania and his summer camp. I tried options like Cranbrook etc, but they are very limited. Any suggestions? thanks in advance.
  18. jeanvaljean

    The Scoutson/Scoutmaster relationship

    this same question applies to coach/player as well, I did coach for a while and I did coach my kids. They always complained that I was tougher on them than on their teammates. I personally thought I was treating every player on the team the same. I do see your point though, and this is why i stopped coaching my kids. I wanted to enjoy their activity as a parent and not as an involved adult etc. That being said, I have already seen some adult scout leaders bending over the rules and working every angel to benefit their kid, who in my opinion doesn't want to be there in the first place. My 2 cents ...
  19. jeanvaljean

    transferring troops

    Have anyone transferred their scout from one troop to another? if yes, can you please share the experience, the positive/negative, etc ... Thank you.
  20. jeanvaljean

    HELP..Extra camping nights needed

    Hello, I asked about this topic in our troop and the answer was that tent nights towards camping will have to be done with the troops. Definetely can not be counted when camping with family, or even scout and dad. I did not get an answer if the camp took place with another troop, I was told they will get back to me and this was 5 days ago ....
  21. jeanvaljean

    I'm so tired

    I totally agree with you, I have seen it as well, the mom who tries evey angle, manipulate every person to get her son the most decorated badges, medals etc. But I also can speak of a personal experience, when we first joined, we were told it is about the scouts and they have to do everything, which is fine since parents did a lot at cub scout, but then there was no plans, no guides to help the new scouts to do what needed to be done. I had to step in multiple times and figure out what needed to be done, and I tell you, it was confusing to me, so imagine how it was for my kids. Now after becoming first class, things are more clear for him and I just sit back and watch, most of the time I am invited to board reviews since I am present ... Another story to your point, I was involved in a 100 scouts MB and I had to only help them with one requirement. There was couple of parents who would do it for their kids, and very politely I explain that the scout needs to demonstrate the task, couple of them got mad at me and went to the guy running the show, he never told me anything, but I guarantee that their blue cards were signed. Again, how is this helping the scout? not much ... but yes I know exactly what you mean.
  22. jeanvaljean

    Lack of MB opportunities

    yes hello, sorry for the late response. My son is 12 years old, first class, he loves scouts and he is very driven. The scoutmaster never refused him a blue card, but wasn't able to provide names to counselors, instead it was go talk to the MB coordinator. So basically it became my job, to look at the internet etc to find him opportunities, in some instances we drove more than 80 miles one way to attend a public event that other troops hosted. One of the posters above mentioned Leadership and the more I think about it, the more it is ringing true. When our MB coordinator is really not doing the best for the troop and no one says anything, it is a problem. I have never been a scout, but I am starting to understand why most scouts quit, they come to troop meetings and they get bored, they are not challenged with opportunities to do what they like IMO. That is my perception so far. I have another scout who is a scout and very frustrated that he can't start on any merit badges like his brother ...
  23. jeanvaljean

    Lack of MB opportunities

    Thanks for the quick response, that's what I thought too, that it is individual work, unfortunately it seems that it is still like cub scout in our troop ...