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gblotter

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gblotter last won the day on December 29 2017

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About gblotter

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  1. Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    I don’t trust Buzzfeed - period. Even if this article is fabricated, Surbaugh is still “deceptive and sleazy” (their words) for the manipulative survey deployed last summer to create a pretext of support for their predetermined outcome. Whether or not the article is factual, it is obvious that BSA execs are scrambling. I find it appalling for them to announce an older girl program when they have no idea what it will actually look like. Why the rush to ram through something that hasn’t even been defined yet? It all smacks of (financial) desperation.
  2. Interesting discussion last night

    Being realistic - not pessimistic ... I don't think Mr. Surbaugh shares your dream.
  3. Interesting discussion last night

    In so many ways, don’t we wish “modern” Scouting still resembled 1938.
  4. Interesting discussion last night

    Our boys would never willingly abandon our camping program (no matter the parent pressure). Heck - we have dads routinely asking to come along.
  5. Interesting discussion last night

    Last year our troop went through a wave where they wanted to play lots of games. They voted for it so that is what we did. Interesting though, after several weeks the votes started to shift away from games because they accurately noticed that other important areas were being ignored. Now they self-regulate to have games only once a month or so. I was rather proud of them in how they arrived at this balance.
  6. Interesting discussion last night

    From your description, the problem seems to be the lack of a robust outdoor program - not the focus on advancement. In our troop, we seem to find room for a balanced mix of both.
  7. Interesting discussion last night

    We do all those things in our weekly meetings. Sometimes campout preparations, sometimes advancement, sometimes a fundraiser, sometimes helping with an Eagle project, sometimes games. There is a huge amount of variety, and the schedule is always different based on need. Given how our troop operates, I don't see this as an either/or situation.
  8. Interesting discussion last night

    Well that is definitely a regrettable sign of dysfunction. I am happy to report that our troop goes camping monthly (except for November and December because of the holidays). I would guess that the lack of an outdoor program is at fault for the drop in attendance more than a focus on advancement. I can only speak for our troop, but there definitely should be room for both. It is hard for me to envision an Eagle mill that goes camping only once a year because so many requirements are focused on outdoor experiences. Something doesn't add up here.
  9. Interesting discussion last night

    @Tampa Turtle Just curious ... why do you think that only parents care about advancement? In my troop, many of our boys are very focused on advancement, and I see nothing wrong in that. The march toward Eagle Scout is an important motivation that keeps them engaged in Scouting (in addition to the camping and adventures and skills). On campouts and other Scouting activities, they are proactive in seeking opportunities to satisfy various requirements. Frankly, I find their initiative admirable. Yes - they have the support of their parents, but I assure you these boys don't look at advancement begrudgingly.
  10. Interesting discussion last night

    Perhaps where we disagree is that I believe working on advancement and merit badges (in addition to camping, patrols, and skills) is also a valid part of a traditional Scouting program ... especially if the boys are voting for that.
  11. Interesting discussion last night

    And what exactly is wrong with that? The boys are communicating what is important to them. Is there something "unScout-like" about working on advancement and merit badges during their meetings? If the boys are voting for it, apparently they don't think it is a boring waste of time. Are you saying the program should be more adult-driven so that the adults won't get bored at the meetings? You seem to disapprove of the Scoutmaster's decision. Do you think he should overrule the desire of his Scouts to work on merit badges during their meetings? In my experience, a troop goes downhill fast when it ignores what the boys want to do. They lose interest when they think the adult leaders are overruling their decisions. It is also painful to watch an adult leader denigrate the choices made in a boy-led Scouting program because they don't conform to his particular vision. @Tampa Turtle I apologize if my comments come across as harsh. Because this forum focuses so much on having a boy-led Scouting program, I just think it is important to respect their decisions if they are voting for merit badge classes. The Scouts in our troop have also voted to occasionally use meetings for Eagle-required merit badge classes (3 or 4 merit badges per year). If advancement is important to them, why would I overrule their choice? My observation is that when we hold merit badge classes, attendance is always high. When we have other game activities, no-shows are frequent. Frankly, when there is a mountain of homework waiting for them, playing a game at a troop meeting is indeed sometimes a waste of time when evaluating competing priorities. As an aside, I spent some time researching an amazing new camping destination here in California perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Reviewers claim it is one of the most scenic campsites in the world, and reservations are snatched up within seconds. In spite of my enthusiasm, that destination did not garner enough votes from the boys to make the cut in 2018 so I had to shrug it off. Instead, we are going camping to some other destinations that will earn them segments in a progressive patch program, because that is what is important to them. In a boy-led Scouting program, sometimes we adult Scouters don't always get what we want. This is as it should be.
  12. Interesting discussion last night

    We let the boys vote on whether they want weekly meetings to sometimes take the form of merit badge classes. They voted that we should *sometimes* focus on the Eagle-required merit badges. They had no interest in spending weekly meetings working on non-required merit badges (even if the merit badges are so called “easy ones” that could be knocked of relatively quickly). So that is what we do. Over the course of a year, we might tackle 3 or 4 Eagle-required merit badges during weekly meetings.
  13. Has The Quality of Eagle Scout Gone Down?

    Of all the Eagle-required merit badges, the Cooking merit badge is considered to be the hardest by most our troop members. Frequently, it is the last one earned before Eagle. I think the twins said it correctly ... food must be edible - not perfect - to get the badge. Rarely do campfire meals cooked by a 13 year-old rise to the standard of fine dining. I view it more along the lines of survival cooking. That is why I'm glad our adult leaders cook and eat separately from the boys. Agreed. The First Aid merit badge does not generate proficient EMTs - it teaches basic, rudimentary, fundamental, introductory first aid skills. The Cooking merit badge does not generate gourmet chefs - it teaches basic, rudimentary, fundamental, introductory cooking skills.
  14. Pl - Spl For Small Troop

    He certainly won’t be able to make those changes all by himself, but his peer group among the younger Scouts are following his example. Together, I can see them establishing a different (better) precedent for Scouting among old boys as they age up in the program.
  15. Pl - Spl For Small Troop

    I guess you had to be there to appreciate the beauty of what you describe. Your story makes me think of my own older Scouts - sitting around, unengaged, and “jaw-jacking” while everyone else around them is doing real Scouting.
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