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About HashTagScouts

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  1. HashTagScouts


    Yours sound better run that what I have experienced. Ours often have the vibe similar to what others commented - it is expected that every scout will participate in every activity, which just makes it no fun. if its an activity that some of the kids want to do , they get a lesser experience having to concern themselves with the kids who don't want to do it, etc. Then again, I think the same people planning these events today are the same ones who were around planning them when I was a kid, which is a problem in and of itself I get lots of "invitations" at RT that they "need help". Attended a few meetings for a few events, the same 3 people talked over everyone and did what they wanted anyway, so let it go.
  2. HashTagScouts


    Even as a youth, and even more now as an adult, I disliked Camporee's being so themed and scheduled that the weekend felt like a day of school. Go here for 50 minutes, then walk over her for 50 minutes, etc. I also disliked that adults did all the planning. Get scouts from around the district/council to come together and plan it. That might be difficult to do twice a year, so just have one. And build in plenty of time for the units to be able to "free-form". Even on a troop campout, you'll have some scouts more jazzed about doing pioneering projects than others, or another group may want to go fishing and others not. To me, the ideal behind a Camporee is for scouts to mingle with other scouts, make new friends, and see that they are part of a larger body, not be simply moving in a herd with their own unit members. Similar philosophy on a smaller scale than summer camp really.
  3. Having friends that participate in events with the 501st legion, these things are a lot of setup- and these are not usually events that you can setup, pack up, and then setup again the following day. Many of these individuals bring in movie quality props and sets that take hours to assemble and ready for display.
  4. HashTagScouts

    Juvenile Offenses and Ethics

    Unit leaders do not have the authority to deny a Scout a conference that is necessary for him to meet the requirements for his rank. If a unit leader conference is denied, a Scout—if he believes he has fulfilled all the remaining requirements—may still request a board of review. The above is the stance of the BSA Guide to Advancement (section Unit Leader Conference). I can understand the pickle of this situation, as well as the desire of knowing does he truly regret it. Unfortunately, even having a conversation with him about that can be constituted as his SM conference. I would say have the discussion with his father, see what Dad is thinking. Ultimately, the scout can request an Eagle BOR under disputed circumstance (see section Initiating Eagle Scout Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances), and a denied SM conference or the unit leader(s) not signing the application are grounds for requesting this. It comes down to your own personal convictions here- I have seen leaders bend because "he's going to get it anyway", but you do have the right to let that be someone else's moral dilemma, not yours.
  5. A 4 mile backpacking trip is really not overly difficult to carry out. While it's always great to really get the kids into backcountry to experience that, you can do it using your favorite camping spot (ie. your council camp). Help the kids identify a spot on the route getting to the camp that is two miles out, have them muster there and pack into camp, and then pack out when leaving. Leave the troop trailer at home, have them carry all the cooking gear they need, etc. and fulfill the Cooking MB requirement at the same trip.
  6. HashTagScouts

    Teaching new parents

    For me, much of the "formal" training that is intended for adults gets into the aims and methods, but the depth is different between "scoutmaster" track and "committee" track. Both sides should really have understanding of the other IMO. Then you have IOLS, which I feel is helpful for anyone, regardless of how much experience they have with Scouting. However, the material for that course is so condensed to fit a weekend, and it is a lot to digest and can be difficult to really implement - what I mean by the hard to implement, is the schedule to at least cover all the material is generally so tight, that when a participant (or several) have questions or want to spend extra time on an area, it can be hard to give that additional time without sacrificing something else. At the Boy Scout level, one exceptional challenge, aside from asking people to give up their time, is that there are a great number of folks out there that have what I feel is an air of "this is a youth group, let's not make it overly complicated" mentality. Overcoming that is really the big challenge to me. Another challenge is the mentality that it really isn't that different from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, which is so not true. It should feel different to the youth, as much as the parent, for that transition- it's a "growing up" transition, and that has always been the perception that was intended. I do feel it incumbent on the SM and Committee Chair (I would love to say COR as well, if you can get them to be involved) to spend time in a formal way to give an overview to each new adult leader. Even if the person spent 4 years as a Cubmaster, or spent a few years as an ASM in another troop, I feel there should still be this formal sitdown. I would say structure that training similar to the ILST that we should be using with all Scouts. Take out the icebreakers and whatnot if you see fit, but truly show the commitment to "youth led" and what that should be meaning for the Scouts is a good start. If you are the SM or CC, this could feel very repetitive if you are doing this a few times a year, but stay vigilant. Adults too often go rougue, or don't adjust well if they aren't given the instructions off the bat on what is expected of them (and of everyone else). In some units, adults may have to wear a few hats, but as much as you can help them to know what their lane is, and how to stay in it, that is better for organizational harmony too. The ILST guide from BSA can be found here:https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/training/pdf/ILST FINALS 2011 - Item Number 511-016.pdf You can also google 'ILST presentation' and find a number of versions that various troops have put together, and adapt as needed. There also are a number of troops that have put together 'parent handbooks', which can also be a good idea. In most work environments, you have an employee handbook and a code of conduct you are expected to follow, so why not have these for your unit?
  7. HashTagScouts

    Cyber Chip Sign off

    Not implying the Scout did anything wrong, just didn't know the particulars of the young man and his eligibility. Kudos to him if he is driven, I take nothing away from him on that. Correct, he can work on most requirements concurrently. The Cyber Chip is grade specific in how it is structured, not age, so if he is still in 5th grade then the award for 5th grade applies. I tend to think it should be more about age based, as youth crossover at all sorts of various times, and we should have the material presented as to what is more relevant to the program group they are in. As Boy Scouts/Scouts BSA should have even more youth run/lead activities, and thus communications, than say Webelos, material in the grade 6-8 is more applicable. In terms of your son, it may be worthwhile for you and he to talk, and talk to his SM, that the grade 6-8 may be of value to him to earn now.
  8. HashTagScouts

    Cyber Chip Sign off

    Something seems off. Children can be Scouts if they have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old, OR have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old, OR are age 11 but have not reached age 18. Assuming the youth meets the above to be eligible at the Boy Scout level, with the fitness requirements, it would be a month between Scout and Tenderfoot, another month between Tenderfoot and Second Class, and another month between Second class and First Class. Putting aside all the other requirements, especially the # of troop activities, that's a pretty accelerated timeline going on. Assuming all of this is on the up and up, the requirement for Star is the same as Scout- earn the Cyber Chip appropriate for his grade. So if he just got Scout in the past 3 months as a 5th grader, and would earn Star before finishing 5th grade, the requirement feels to be met.
  9. HashTagScouts

    OA to end AoL ceremonies?

    I have to agree with @SR540Beaver here. my son has done these ceremonies for the past two years, and is disappointed in the change. He's also disappointed in the poor scripts that have been provided as well. However, he respects that they have been told what they have been told, and his choice is either comply or just don't participate in them at all. His lodge seems intent on offering the new format, but I doubt he'll volunteer for them.
  10. HashTagScouts

    GSUSA Troop Leader Dismissed

    Based on the news article, that was kind of what I took this comment to mean: Steffel claims she learned from Chippewa Valley troop leaders and an area school guidance counselor that the preference out there was for direct donations to the victims’ families. I couldn't find the GoFundMe page itself. This article probably had a link at one point, based on the last sentence. The Council probably had an issue of the wording "You can donate to the Chippewa Falls Girl Scouts and families here." if it wasn't directing through the Council. https://www.wbay.com/content/news/Local-efforts-to-support-Chippewa-Falls-Girl-Scouts-receive-international-attention-499719131.html
  11. HashTagScouts

    GSUSA Troop Leader Dismissed

    It could be they have an issue with GoFundMe- which I can appreciate the convenience of it, but BSA also discourages using it because GFM takes a cut. Or, it could be that the vigil itself was not an issue, but this commemorative patch is the issue (if that patch uses GSUSA's logo or name- even with BSA, troops are actually forbidden from putting a fleur-de-lis on a patch of their own creation, though most probably do ignore it). The whole thing is sad, and while I respect GSUSA having a policy and not wanting to air things out in the press, some type of clarity would do them good here considering the purpose this leader had. GSUSA stating “If an individual chose to donate to our organization in honor of the impacted troop or girls, those funds are segregated to support our Council’s efforts in delivering the Girl Scout mission to girls in the Western Region of our Council, specifically the Chippewa Valley” is hardly an endorsement that if I sent them $200 for this family that the whole $200, or even any part of it, is going to actually get to them.
  12. HashTagScouts

    OA to end AoL ceremonies?

    The scripts can be found here: https://oa-bsa.org/resources/inductions As stated in the AoL script: The Presenter may be a Scout from a Troop in field uniform (and sash if a member of the Order of the Arrow), the Cubmaster, or another uniformed Cub Scout leader. From the Crossover script: The performers dress in field uniform—the summer version with shorts and knee socks is preferred as being more distinctive, but is not required. They wear hiking shoes or boots. Each carries a knapsack or backpack that appears to be full. One carries a compass; one carries a map. Additionally, they may have such things as wooden hiking sticks and/or a patrol flag, a wooden canoe paddle, flashlights, canteens, a bugle, a sleeping bag rolled and strapped to a pack—backpacking and camping items that suggest outdoor adventure. If the ceremony is conducted by an Order of the Arrow lodge or chapter team, it is at the discretion of the lodge chief if the team should wear sashes for the ceremony. At no time should any member of the team wear American Indian costumes. From the above excerpts, clearly to me the intent here is that these are the scripts that should be used for these ceremonies, regardless of the OA's involvement- yet, they are on the OA website. I'm sure others will have opinions on that, but my own opinion is that National is controlling what it feels it can have at least some control over- OA lodges- as opposed to the thousands of Pack leaders.
  13. HashTagScouts

    History of Merit Badges is a Cultural History of US

    I was a little curious to methodology as well. I would place Insect Study into science, not outdoor, for example.
  14. HashTagScouts

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    Appeal for sure. Let your son work with his SM on what to say when he gets his opportunity. The use of "we" here, respectfully, needs to be "he" when he gets that opportunity. What you lay out on the experience of how he arrived at 2 being the optimal number of workers, how he had to coordinate the rotation, how he gave the training on what was going to be done, is all showing how he planned and lead the project. My advice is that he needs to hammer all of that home multiple times over when the subject of his project comes up. Not every EBOR will spend much time on the project, as ultimately, as others have pointed out, by the time he gets to the EBOH the project has been completed. If your son feels he did that in this BOR, then for the appeal he just needs to focus on being demonstrative (not argumentative) to the appeal group that he tried to provide explanation on all of those points, and that he deserves credit. In much of anything he would have planned as SPL, it involved setting the plan, recruiting others for the activity, coaching them as needed. Make sure he gives the clarity that while his workers shadowed him the first time, he empowered them to do it themselves under his watch the second time. Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of people in this world that think that leading is synonymous to managing, and they are not truly one and the same. I have a Masters in Management and Leadership, and I could "talk" your ear off (or give you eye strain reading at least) on the ignorance many have about the distinctions. Any Google search will bring you a host of articles on the differences, but the short riff is: leadership is about setting the vision and inspiring others to follow, while managing is creating the systems to make it successful. For any Eagle project, the youth ultimately has to do both, but it's typically far easier for a young person to explain the A to Z on what was done, less so on the why and what could have gone differently aspects. As a dad whose son made Eagle at 14, please give him my encouragement to keep his chin held high, and just think of this as a setback on his journey, not the end of it. As his parent, just be prepared that once he gets it, there's going to be the peanut gallery that still ignorantly thinks that he is "too young to be an Eagle", so keep your chin held high as well and be his rock right now. He WILL get to have that medal soon enough.
  15. HashTagScouts

    Is BSA adult leader training necessary?

    I'm with you- my point is that "necessary" depends on the users. Scoutmaster Basic and OLS- yes, I would agree the syllabus content pretty much someone who was truly engaged as a youth (that is, did just more than "check the boxes") should be able to skip that.