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Everything posted by Jameson76

  1. Jameson76

    BSA patrol method is lost in the fog

    We get some new Scouts each year that have bailed out in 4th grade due to "yawn" too long of a Cub program. Then they see us when they are maybe 6th grade, want to know if they can join Boy Scouts as they dropped out of Cubs. A lot of our leaders that were Cub leaders talk about the long long long walk through Cubs...up to 6 years now We tell them if they have the application, pay the dues, and give us to start a Medical A / B...welcome aboard
  2. Jameson76

    First Class 1a - Troop Activities

    We had one very eager to rank up. He was looking for a BOR and I asked about troop activities. He said he went on the raft trip, went climbing with the troop, did the five mile hike, and took a hike to an outpost, and had been to summer camp. I had to explain him that as all the list of activities; raft trip, climbing, five mile hike, and hike to an outpost; took place while at summer camp, that was only one troop activity...summer camp. Each thing he did while at summer camp was not in fact a separate activity. We discussed that the intent of the requirement was to have scouts be involved in the troop. He questions my interpretation and wanted to know if I was a lawyer. Told him I was not.
  3. Jameson76

    The "Right Way" to retire U.S. Flag...

    Wasn't that a running gag on Big Bang Theory and Sheldon and his "Fun With Flags" Youtube shows??
  4. Jameson76

    The "Right Way" to retire U.S. Flag...

    So - The United States Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8k states-“The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” Pretty much that is about the only instruction. There are many ways to do this is a dignified manner, and that interpretation (dignified manner) would be up to the unit and those performing the retirement
  5. Jameson76

    Not Quite Prepared for Philmont

    Naproxen is your friend. Naproxen is prescribed for the treatment of mild to moderate pain and inflammation. Take at night, you will wake up with somewhat less inflammation and tension from the plantar fasciitis and other aches and pains. Don't fear the better living through chemistry option
  6. Jameson76

    Not Quite Prepared for Philmont

    Honestly, most of the youth from a physical perspective will likely do well. Boots are another issue that need to be addressed of course. Leaders, that's another story. You can do a good pack shakedown in a driveway. Everyone full packs, you run down the list, make sure it's there. If you have folks from past years, have them come and discuss what may or may not be needed (I've never taken rain pants). Biggest thing to get done is crew cohesion, and working together as a team. The Philmont trek is much different than weekend trips or summer camp due to length and smaller numbers (at least in our case) on the outing. On the plus side they are older scouts so hopefully more mature. On the downside there is literally nowhere to go to get away, you can't bail, and if you are not working together at least somewhat, makes for a long 12 days I would make sure you have a solid crew leader, make sure everyone knows there will be daily work to get done; water, tarp, cooking, bear bags, etc etc; and everyone is expected to contribute. There is crew gear; food, stoves, first aid, fuel, etc etc that everyone will tote. Get the admin stuff done prior to departure, good clear structure led by the crew leader, then you are ready to meet the physical demands.
  7. Jameson76

    What can SM do for son's advancement?

    It is a tough call In our troop for Scout - 1st Class the Scout has to get signed off by a Life or above Scout. For SM conference an ASM does that. Our informal process is that you would not do your son's SM Conference or if on the committee BOR For our current SM his son just aged out this year. As he worked through the ranks other leaders did the SM conferences and BOR's. He was an SPL and for that period one of the other leaders in the troop was his guide during the time. Good for the son to hear a different voice at times There does not seem to be a formal rule in GTA, but common sense should prevail and the opportunity for the SM's son to interact with other adults.
  8. Not impugning (def: dispute the truth, validity, or honesty of (a statement or motive); call into question) at all, just noting what is on his public website.
  9. And Dad's a lawyer, so that helps to grease the wheels From his Law firm website - interesting the mention of girls and women in Boy Scouts is on the home page With the guidance of the Law Offices of Gary Ireland, you can maximize income and benefits when joining a company, enhance severance, and if necessary assert rights when leaving. Gary Ireland also works with clients who are seeking to start companies – with his help you can save money and solve legal problems by making smarter business decisions while limiting risk. And Gary is active as an advocate for inclusion and non-discrimination - currently working to enable girls and young women to participate at all of levels of scouting within the Boy Scouts of America.
  10. If you were around for the "Improved Scouting Program" from 73 - 79 there was NO camping required. (it was an option, but not required) You could get Eagle and NO camping, outdoor cooking, or swimming. The only time you may have had to go outside was for Environmental Science. Dark days I tell you....dark days
  11. Jameson76

    How to increase usage of Patrol Method

    The patrol camping and cohesion is a good path, but it is a journey. Needs to be in the forefront in camping and meetings When I joined my current troop the camping method was, at best, the blob method. Sort of everyone camps, in a large group. To move towards the patrol method, we revamped the "How" we camped, sort of cold turkey. Working with the PLC we reset the patrol boxes, and every patrol got the box, tarp, table, lantern, etc. First campout (a February one) after we worked through the details, this was the new way. Before any personal gear is setup, trailer is unloaded, patrol sites set (spread out mind you), to include tarp, table, etc. Honestly this took over two hours and there was a good bit of involvement to keep on task. Now 10 years later, this takes maybe 15 minutes and all the Scouts know what to expect and areas are setup, they are spaced out, and we sort of kinda look like a troop with patrols. It is not perfect, but it is better and continuing to be part of the culture. For meetings we have an area outside, (hope it doesn't rain on meeting nights) around the central assembly area there are posts with the patrol names, they group there for opening and closing, and the patrols cycle through instruction by patrols. Our troop has the continual mixed age group patrols. The leaders allocate new Scouts to patrols each year. For PL and APL the patrols hold elections (we do this on paper to discourage Russian influence) every 6 months or so. Typically this is done on one of the outings. Again, not perfect and not technically by the book, but it does seem to work for our troop. Note we are in the 80 +/- Scout range for the unit.
  12. Jameson76

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    I would agree. I coached a lot of travel youth soccer back in the day, the boys teams. I would referee (center) and sometimes I had guys from my team as linesman. We officiated girls games on occasion and those were no holds barred matches. Yes they were slighter and maybe not as flat out fast as their contemporary boys, (high school age) but they hit as hard, fought as hard, and definitely held a grudge from earlier plays in the match. My guys doing line commented that the girls were way more vicious than he might have imagined. Competitive and driven also, do not sell the fairer sex (can I say that??) short
  13. Jameson76

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    "Locked out of the program".....interesting starting point for a discussion
  14. This falls into the "cannot make a positive" assumption or offer proof of issues. Rather than acknowledge that it does possibly appear there could be challenges, there possibly could be some leaders short cutting the process and maybe denying the Scout the full program, the response from some is prove it. Very much like the situation where you walk into your house and see a picture that was hanging on the wall laying on the floor broken and ball laying near it. You may not be able to prove your child did it, but certainly it looks that way. Most of the concern, at least on my part, is the advancement apple seems to be replacing in some cases the journey of Scouting. Kudos I assume to those that want to race the ranks, and there are some joining later in their years that will be racing. But, all that being said, hopefully the leaders of the units will follow the program and not short change any Scout. We as a Scouting movement are only as good as the program we preside over in our units. Hopefully Scouting does not become just about earning Eagle as fast as you can, then move on the to next thing, the next box to check off.
  15. Jameson76

    Pioneering Campout

    Anchoring is one of the Pioneering MB requirements, good discussion point is always stakes, iron, trees, etc and what to tie the tower or structure to. Hardest part is getting good spars, keeping them dry, and moving them to make a good tower. We were going to build a tower maybe 15', but all the tree that were down were rotten to some degree. Managed to find four good ones maybe 10' in length, that were not too heavy. By the time we built it, was a beast to stand up. Waaay back in the day on camp staff we built a tower with a 25' platform. Built over a 5 week span. Cut down trees out in the woods, hauled them out, etc etc. Built at the side of the parade field. Tower was 25' x 10' x 10'. To stand it up we ran a heavy rope and had most of the campers play pull the tower. Amazing what about 200 Scouts and leaders can do. As it reached the tipping point had to adjust the back anchor so there was a little rock, but no a a hard stop. Standing on top of that was an amazing feeling. (hey, I can see my tent from here!!) Later years we cut all the needed spars and parts and were able to assemble an hourglass tower during the week in Pioneering MB. Assemble and knots M - W, then standing up and climbing it Thursday. Leaning back over and cutting all the lashings on Friday.
  16. Jameson76

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    Careful...implied critiques of girls joining Scouts BSA may be frowned upon
  17. Jameson76

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    Actually, their 6% metric is based on at this point in time, +/- 850,000 Boy Scouts Scouts BSA registered for a specific year, 50,000 Eagles in that year, so roughly 6%. Sort of a false measurement based on what they say and what they report. Each year we do not get a new 850,000 Scouts, more like 200,000 +/-. Many are registered for 3 - 5 years (some longer). I would argue the number of Scouts who join the Scouts BSA program that get Eagle is closer to 25%. The real measurement would be how many unique Scouts (yep, I know, they are all unique) and bounce that against Eagle Scouts, then you would have a true measurement of How Many Scouts Get Eagle
  18. Jameson76

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    We got a looks last year at the district banquet, we had about 30% of the Eagle Scouts in the district. While reviewing metrics at the District Banquet some comments on needing to audit , better check the numbers etc etc. Funny part was when you looked at number of Boy Scouts in the district, out troop accounted for maybe 25% of that number (small district), so the math sort of dictated the outcome. Also we have the most hours for community service, no comments about that.
  19. Jameson76

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    Interesting question, and one that has been discussed for lo these many years. Current troop has 80+ Scouts and over the last 11 years we have averaged about 8 Eagles each year. Looking at a percentage earning Eagle, for Scouts that join the troop about 50% earn Eagle. For the Scouts that joined in one year (21) 13 attained Eagle or 62%. They earned Eagle over a 4 year span. Some at about 15 and some at the literal cusp of 18 The troop has never done an "advancement" outing. All the outings are determined by the Scouts and the main drive is to have fun. We have 11 outdoor monthly outdoor events each year, two summer camps, annual high adventure, etc etc The troop does hold MB sessions for various Eagle required badges, maybe 2 - 3 per year. These are held prior to meetings and do not impact regular meetings. My observation on Scouts getting to Eagle is, does the troop provide a place where they can work towards Eagle? Majority of our Eagle Scouts are over 16, they have been in the troop and active for years, gone on High Adventure, been to camp, been in leadership, worked summer camp staff, and done many Scout things. As a unit we have a Life to Eagle position that keeps track of who is where in the process and is the point of contact for the Eagle process. Keeping the older Scout engaged, understanding their schedule and time demands can be a key to helping them along the Scouting journey. You may not see some Scouts every meeting due to sports, AP classes, band, etc. That does not mean they are not engaged. We have numerous leaders, our practice is that the Scouts drive their advancement. If they need to meet with a specific leader on some aspect, they send the note to make sure they are going to be at the meeting. Are we an "Eagle Mill"? I would say no. We are a troop that works with older Scouts, has a large group of experienced leaders that can assist when asked. Key is we demand no more an no less than is required. Recently we had a Scout that came to a meeting, we had not seen him for a while, and was looking at finishing Life Scout rank then on to Eagle. Challenge was his 18th birthday was only 170 days away (less than 6 months) and he still needed to complete 2 merit badges prior to having is BOR for Life. Really sad part is that about 8 months prior we had reached out, advised on timelines, pointed out if he was interested in working on Eagle he needed to complete Life rank, do the leadership, etc. No response until his recent meeting attendance. Our conversation was he could complete his youth scouting journey as a Life Scout (after getting those 2 MB's completed) but that was it.
  20. Jameson76

    ASMs at PLCs

    It is a an ongoing process. The training is ongoing for Scouts and leaders. Some can handle the processes better, some need less guidance, some need more. We try to keep it from drifting too far into "Lord of Flies" territory. One conversation we had a few months ago with our SPL was, having a class session (for example) on hammocking tips is a great idea, but what are the instructors going to cover? That needs to be part of the meeting plan. We touched on that he should not be looking for an in-depth lesson plan, they have about 10 minutes or so (they rotate) so what 3 things should the instructor cover. That should be part of his plan. Also to advise an ASM that just giving feedback that during BOR's we hear classes are not good is pretty thin. Work with the SPL to give feedback on what is not going well. Too many phones out, instructor not prepared, subject has been covered multiples times, etc etc. Also these are the SCOUTS meetings, let them decide what to work on and cover. We can suggest, but end of the day, they have to own it.
  21. Jameson76

    ASMs at PLCs

    The Scouts meet and determine topics and plans, the leaders sit to the side, most of the time we quietly discuss a variety of topics not related to Scouting For meetings our involvement is typically: Can we do X at the meeting (yes or no) The leaders ask questions such as what are the items you want cover in class sessions We confirm how many meetings they are planning for at this time We review their plan For the annual planning our involvement is questions from the the scouts, these are typically: About a possible outing and Yep we can do that, or no we can't do skydiving You guys know that is 4 hours away, is that really a good weekend? That's a lot of money, are you sure? Things like that Also we sometimes step in to keep them on task if the discussion goes waaay to far and afield
  22. Jameson76

    Worst things you seen taken to summer camp

    Not the specific topic, but we have had some challenges with cell phones. Yes it can be a good tool, but then there is a litany of tools that could be useful at camp and outings that we do not bring (chainsaws, generators, work lights to name a few) Our primary driver was that it did impact the group interactions on outings. When there are no phones, the scouts congregate more and socialize more. Better attended card games and cornhole tournaments
  23. Jameson76

    The liability of being a Boy Scout Leader

    Other than Scouts have done a good bit of sports coaching. One of the parents was a lawyer, so I asked him what my liability was if a player got injured. His umbrella response was that they (as parents) had to assume some risk as they allowed their child to play a sport. Yes you could have an action against you, but it likely would not be a winnable one if you as the coach were doing normally accepted actions or it was the course of the game and no visible risks were present. Drills, exercises, and other activities that would be associated with the sport and as the coach was taking reasonable care. As others have noted, not being negligent. Preface to that is normally acceptable of course. Scouts is similar, parents do have some assumption of risk. They may not like that, but it is there. Within the BSA medical form, that every participant should sign and their guardian should sign, there is this disclaimer: I understand that participation in Scouting activities involves the risk of personal injury, including death, due to the physical, mental, and emotional challenges in the activities offered. Information about those activities may be obtained from the venue, activity coordinators, or your local council. I also understand that participation in these activities is entirely voluntary and requires participants to follow instructions and abide by all applicable rules and the standards of conduct. Now, as with the sports example, are you taking reasonable care, are you or other leaders not being negligent, are you doing the things expected? For example you are on a backpacking trek and as a side activity you lead them up a 40' free climb without proper gear. That might be a challenge if someone gets hurt. Exercise care, and most importantly...don't be stupid.
  24. Jameson76

    Worst things you seen taken to summer camp

    Adults not ready to make the transition from parent to leader
  25. Jameson76

    Scout dies hiking Picacho Peak (AZ)

    I wonder if there is more to the story? Trail looks to be only less than 2 miles from 1 parking area and less than 3 miles from another. Not discounting dehydration that can come on quickly, Here is a map of the park https://d2umhuunwbec1r.cloudfront.net/gallery/0004/0010/27F8D231CC7F4A9CB199737FE780E8D6/PIPE_ParkMap_Spring_2019_FINAL_01.pdf