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Everything posted by HashTagScouts

  1. HashTagScouts

    wilderness first aid class question

    I recommend this quick read: https://www.outdoors.org/articles/amc-outdoors/a-wilderness-first-aid-kit-checklist For the most part, it's a basic first aid kit you might bring on a day hike (adhesive bandages of different sizes, a few gauze pads, some antiseptic wipes, an ace bandage or two, a set of tweezers, something that can be used as a cravat, a small package of moleskin). Probably items you already have in a home first aid kit. Additions I'd recommend is a roll of athletic tape, a tube of cortisone/rash cream, and a SAM splint- these might be a few bucks, but I always carry mine on me. Dollar General type stores might have these. My kit is in a fanny-pack type pouch, and I sling it around my shoulder on hikes. Doubtful they will use the materials on the course, it's more of a proof of concept that the participants understand situations they can find themselves in that might require having a kit that is a little different than a small personal kit like they put together for First Aid MB.
  2. HashTagScouts

    Scouts BSA Up 1.2% Youth Members, up 7.1% Units

    My council has taken to having monthly "office hours" where folks can attend and ask questions. It's a 2 hour block, that unfortunately is on a weeknight evening that is a conflict for their weekly unit meeting night. Problem #1. It has a call-in conference number for those that can not attend in person. Problem #2 in that a lot of time is wasted with people asking for the question (and/or the answer) to get repeated, apologizing for talking over each other, etc. The biggest problem though, is that one question can easily eat up 30 minutes, if there are several people that want to comment on it. I applaud that at least there is a modicum of effort. However, I feel that this method is to avoid putting things in writing, and it creates other potential issue as the information provided gets altered and twisted when relayed from one attendee to a non-attendee, and that non-attendee relays to another, etc. I would rather just a forum for people to ask questions, and then expect twice a month a single, compiled list of questions with answers would get distributed in writing. If I am a consumer that is shopping at my local market for a bottle of Coca-Cola, I can reasonably conclude that I don't have an avenue to ask a question to the CEO of Coca-Cola and get an answer. If I am the sales representative that is employed by Coca-Cola, and I have to go out to the field to try and get more retailers to carry our products, I should have an expectation that I may need answers to be prepared for what that consumer I run into in the market may ask. For the most part, I liken communication that comes from Council or National is provided to the volunteer adult is too often handled as though I am that individual buying a bottle of Coke, and I'm not treated like I am the Coca-Cola employee. That is 100% a problem. I also believe that this policy that BSA has had up to now that they only higher from within is very outdated. Heck, if us "inferior" people out here in the volunteer space can figure out the Scouting program, why do we feel that only those who started at the bottom rung of the professional ladder are worthy of loftier positions? I'd rather they higher the most qualified individual, and that person may have received those qualifications from outside the BSA. They can learn the mechanics of the Scouting program on the fly as so many out here do.
  3. HashTagScouts

    Your problems with JTE

    I feel JTE is good for new units, or units with newer inexperienced adults, as a baseline structure of how to get a unit performing. However, I don't find "standardized tests" as something to repeat year-over-year, so I'm not beholden to it. Our Crew is Bronze, and we are perfectly fine with that "measurement", and frankly we wouldn't have even cared to have that designation, but the JTE form was required for us to submit before Council would process our charter for next year.
  4. HashTagScouts

    Scouts BSA Up 1.2% Youth Members, up 7.1% Units

    I agree with much of this. Allowing Venturers- especially true when it is a group of several 18 year olds- be able to meet and carry out events without adults would be huge.
  5. HashTagScouts

    Committee voting

    Ultimately it the SM, who would have already had consult with the PLC (and ASMs if needed) that would present a request to our committee for X $s to purchase tents. I wouldn't at all have debate in my meetings on the type of tent, just whether we had majority to allocate the funds. The SM might come to me as CC, or I may go to him, to discuss the item(s) if we each felt it necessary. Being a first year group, your committee seems to still be "norming". A private aside with the CC to encourage that they try to keep these discussions on point and concise might be a good idea.
  6. HashTagScouts

    National Leadership, Surbaugh Leave of Absense

    We do most everything electronic at the front end. Scout sends an email for their project scope to the District Advancement Chair, who reviews, asks questions if necessary, and approves- in a rare instance, they may ask to meet with the Scout if something isn't clear or needs revision that isn't coming across via the email chain. Once project is complete, the Scout completes the Eagle workbook and 3 copies of the application, and requests letters. Letters are sent to the unit (typically SM, but some units have it come to the Advancement Coordinator). All is brought to the Eagle BOR. The BOR members review the workbook and letters for about 20-30 minutes before the BOR begins. District Advancement Chair reviews the application during that time. When BOR is complete, the copies of the application are signed- two are sent to Council. Once copy goes to National, one stays with Council as a backup in case it gets mishandled by National, and the third is given to the unit for the same reason.
  7. HashTagScouts

    Troop Pressure for OA

    Our staff adviser wants the LEC to "increase Brotherhood numbers"- presumably that is coming from the SCF. I'm with @Oldscout448 that I'd welcome anyone to Brotherhood, if it truly was in their heart as a desire, not just because it fulfills someone else's wish.
  8. HashTagScouts

    Anyone hear of Raise Craze?

    Not sure I like "selling" service. feel like giving back to the community for raking an elderly person's yard, etc. is just something we should do to fulfill our "do a good turn", not make money off of it.
  9. HashTagScouts

    Three Sisters Pottage

    here are some more for you: http://manyhoops.com/wampanoag-food-and-recipes_1.html
  10. HashTagScouts

    What happened to meritbadge.org?

    I was on meritbadge.org last weekend , so it may just be undergoing maintenance.
  11. HashTagScouts

    Parent Reaction to Fee Increase

    We only charge the BSA registration fee + our Council Activity Fee, so $90 total for 2020. We have one large annual fundraiser that gives us several grand for operating budget, as well as several thousand to split into scout accounts. So far, only 2 will be leaving, but those two youth weren't involved more than a couple meetings this year, they never camped or attended Memorial Day parade, etc. There are couple parents that grumbled about it, but our Council has created an application to appeal for financial hardship exemption to seek waiver of the $30 Activity Fee to assist families, so they will probably at least try to get that waiver. The bigger concern is what to do if the fees raise again. Our council made a statement on the Activity Fee waiver to the effect that units should be assisting families first, which made my stomach turn.
  12. HashTagScouts

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    By far the biggest challenge- stay in solidarity to the SM. That is very important when it comes to parents. They will push- and often you'll hear them talk about "Eagle" in about every sentence they ever utter. It is hard to sway their mindset. At our recent parent meeting, I spent 5 minutes explaining to the parents that if it has been a year+ that their son has not advanced in rank, it is far more likely that the scout just hasn't asked anyone for signoffs, not for lack of the troop providing program needed for the scout to advance. I gave them perspective to feel free to spend time with their son and his handbook, look at requirements, read the appropriate sections, ask their son questions (watch Youtube videos if necessary to understand the skills)- while we can't have parent signing off, they can help build the confidence in their son to come forward and ask for review/signature. All testing/signoff is going to come from the troop, but if any parent is thinking we need to literally drag their kid to advancement, it isn't going to happen within our unit.
  13. HashTagScouts

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    I can assure you, you are one of thousands who have died on this hill The younger kids hear you, that I am convinced- caring about it, not so much. My findings are that they are not so worried about it. You have ~7 years to get to Eagle, anyway, don't you? Most are just happy to be having fun, and often glad to be away from the "structure" that sometimes shows up in the cub program, that advancement isn't their priority.
  14. Largely agree with your thoughts. MB universities/colleges/fairs can be structured so that the selection process/choice/approval still happens. Similar to summer camp, if you know the schedule of what is being offered, that is shared to the scouts, and those desiring to attend can make selections from the list of what is available and discuss with their SM what they have selected. If SM deems appropriate, blue card issued, scout goes off to the MBU to work with the counselor. Some may feel that the BSA is implying that MBs are supposed to be one-on-one, scout to MBC- but it does not explicitly state that. We would never be able to offer MBs at summer camp if that were the case. Group instruction is a part of the lives of the youth. In any given school year, they are learning much, much more information in any given subject than that which is learned from any MB, and they do it with group instruction. Are limits on the size of the group important? YES! However, I would hope that is up to the MBC on the appropriate size. As an MBC for Citizenship in the World, an ideal size for me is no more than 5 scouts. I want the requirements to be dynamic discussion, not just "you listened to me, now repeat back what I said", and a group larger than 5 for me makes those discussions too lengthy that I feel many scouts tune out what their fellow scouts are saying by the time it gets to the 6th kid/7th kid, etc. I am also an MBC for Art MB, and I have no problem with that being a group of 20- most art classes in elementary/middle school/high school/college are larger than that. Are there MBUs being run as "show up, you get the badge"? I'm sure there are. Improving quality would be what I would focus on, rather than just trying to eliminate them completely. Offering MBs at unit level is important as well, but I wouldn't want to confine a kid to only what the unit/council can offer. If your unit doesn't have a chemistry MBC, and the nearest one within the council is 65 miles away, likelihood that Billy/Sally Scout is going to realistically be able to work on that MB is small to non-existent. However, if the council is going to have a MB fair at a site that is 10 miles from Billy/Sally Scout's hometown on a given day, and that MBC is going to be there, I'm all in on it! Billy/Sally Scout may already know that chemistry is their passion, and they may go on to be the person who finds the cure for a disease later in their life, and that opportunity as a Scout to work on a MB was the catalyst.
  15. HashTagScouts

    Uniform During Fund Raising

    That's a new one on me. What exactly is their logic? You are selling a ticket to a product/service, similar to how units are selling popcorn. If what they were concerned with is having a fundraisers selling chances on a 50/50 raffle, yes, I would say no field uniforms for that, as it is gambling and the unit shouldn't really be doing it.
  16. HashTagScouts

    Have to find a new Pack... again. :(

    Perhaps they can be a “bridge” of sorts. Not that they have to only work with other girls, but their DLs might find it advantageous to have the few girls from the two packs have some weekend events held jointly for just the girls to have their own time together. A few troops in my area are doing a mini camp ore of sorts this spring to let the girls learn from each other, share ideas on growth, lessons learned, etc.
  17. HashTagScouts

    Have to find a new Pack... again. :(

    Sorry that this has to be such a major issue, but applaud you are thinking of what is best for your kids rather than just taking the easiest road of what is shortest commute for you. I empathize with that. Think beyond the next year though, what would be the landscape for your daughter once she is moving to the next level? Would it be likely she would be in a troop with this 1 girl that is in the pack near you (and would that be a troop that is near you)?
  18. HashTagScouts

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    Too much change can really take those changes a long time to fully execute. My advice is start small- have it for Scout rank to start off with as you plan, then maybe have it be "former SPL/ASPL" can sign-off up to 1st Class for the next year after that, and within just a few years you should have a handful of "older" scouts modeling to the others how it should be done, where you could either let it be any Star/Life/Eagle, or just keep it that way.
  19. HashTagScouts

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    I can appreciate your view. NSPs can go in a bad direction, in a very short amount of time. We're maybe a little non-traditional in how we view the role of TG. To us, it is a short-term, temporary position. Generally, we encourage the SPL to pick the scout the they see as their potential successor, and that scout may wear two hats for those few months if they are currently scribe or QM, if they are ASPL they may step down their duties as ASPL a bit. Crossover for us is early March, and summer camp is the first week of July, elections are just before camp, with the new SPL/PLC taking over after camp is over. At summer camp, its our expectation that all the "veteran" scouts will be looking out for the NSP kids. We typically will have had 3 campouts with the new kids before summer camp, and I like to see the TG sort of step back a bit during the 3rd campout and let them see if they can find their way. Then encourage the TG to regroup with them to ask them how they think such and such activity went, how could it have gone better, etc. Usually their first meal without a hands on instructor is a disaster, but once the have had the time to cool down and regroup with the TG, they begin to really storm and find their way toward a norm (or at least recognize how much more they need to learn to get to the norm). Our troop had an adult implosion a few years ago that nearly killed the troop. And they were adult run then, so it took a solid year and a half to regroup.
  20. HashTagScouts

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    1000% agree. I have barked at several leaders that object to youth signing for youth. It's a requirement to reach Life you have to teach skills- why would you ever want a kid learning how to do that, only to do it once??? Seems insane to me. We keep the crossovers in a NSP until summer camp, then integrate them at the stat of the next school year (that's based on we only have had 3-5 crossover the past few years- if we get back to having 6+, we'd probably leave them as a patrol).
  21. HashTagScouts

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    Perhaps a bigger question- who in your troop signs on requirements? For us, we want any scout that is Star/Life/Eagle signing off on anything up to First Class requirements. Adults are a last resort for most requirements.
  22. HashTagScouts

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    Pretty much by the time they have completed their second campout. Does the patrol have a Troop Guide assigned to them? We would usually have the TG take the new patrol aside after opening for the first 2-3 meetings apart from what the rest of the troop is doing, and go over all the book-work stuff (requirement 1-3, though some will need to spend some time at home memorizing if they aren't quite as sharp as needed on Outdoor Code, etc.). Totin Chip is at first campout, knots (as many as possible, including bowline and sheet bend) on the 2nd. The hope is by that second campout, they will be at Scout and have started on requirements for Tenderfoot and 2nd Class, and by the time summer camp is over they will be at (or darn close) to completing Tenderfoot and be on good ground to focus on 2nd Class during the fall.
  23. HashTagScouts

    Discouraged: A Very Poor Call Out Ceremony

    So, here in Eastern MA, November temps can range quite a bit. One weekend it could be 60 during the day, 40 at night. The next weekend could be 40 during the day, 20 at night. Weekend after could 50 during the day - you get the point. I do know of units that cabin camp only in November. Not at all what I would do. December/January/February are pretty assured of having temps that are below freezing at night, so I can appreciate having cabin camping in the winter. I know at least one unit that has gone so far as having pizza delivered each year to camp during their January cabin weekend. I don't suggest every scout should be a Daniel Boone, but getting through the elements at least once in their time as a scout doesn't feel like an earth shattering expectation for me. I also know of units that do lock-ins at the church hall, and count that as a camping night. Others that do lock-in at indoor climbing facilities (we have like 4 around here that do overnight programs for scouts), and count that as a camping night.
  24. HashTagScouts

    What are the BSA priorities??

    BP's original Scouting for Boys had Tenderfoot as the joining rank. http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/yarn03.pdf
  25. HashTagScouts

    What are the BSA priorities??

    history of rank requirements if you are interested: http://www.troop97.net/pdfbin/bsa_ranks.pdf