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Everything posted by Jameson76

  1. Jameson76

    My new Scout's going to camp but freaking out

    Agreed We always welcome LEADERS to be at camp and LEADERS who work within the troop matrix. Parents are needed to drive and pickup from camp and wave at the parking lot, not be at camp for the week. Some leader stories Had one leader that was in camp for the week. He came to me on Sunday and advised he felt it better to leave as his son kept coming to him for things and was not participating as he should, he came back later in the week and it worked out well Had one leader not in camp but was coming to get one of his sons at camp for an event, the other son was first year and we knew it would be a tough week, seeing dad in camp could be trouble. We worked out the pickup time so younger son was at activities and same with the return the next day. Was at summer camp and a scout had an issue in the middle of the night, the Scout came into the leader pod and found the leader at camp for the week and NOT his dad who was in the next tent We had a conversation with a leader in camp who was way too focused on his kid, was sort of treating summer camp as father / son time and the other 1,000 Scouts and leaders were just in the area. We assigned the leader some specific tasks that were not where his son was, ended up being a good week Had a somewhat serious issue with a Scout at camp, his dad was one of the leaders, the dad left the site as we worked it out. He stayed out of the site that afternoon and did not even speak with his son about the issue until he and I talked through it that evening and what the consequences of those actions would be.
  2. Jameson76

    Need a Cot or...?

    Have you tried the single air mattress? That works way better than a double / queen sized. There are some smaller camp cots, not sure they are more comfortable. Also have you tried the ENO or Hammock for sleeping? Some find those better. As for going to bed early, I often (if not overly cold) just sit in front of my tent with a book and headlight and read. If cooler I sit by the fire and just bank it / put out some of the coals when I go to bed. Now I do sleep on a pad in a backpacking tent, so I enjoy the ground.
  3. Jameson76

    CC and COR is the same person

    That is a tough road ahead Assuming the CC/COR also is embedded within your CO to some degree. While the correct course of action is to work with the IH, they may not actually have any real concern as to what is going on with the unit. Challenge is the IH appoints the COR, so you are into some circular logic with both COR and CC being the same person 1) The Chartered Organization Representative (COR) is the direct contact between the unit and the Chartered Organization. This individual is also the organization's contact with the District Committee and the Local Council. The chartered organization representative may become a member of the district committee and is a voting member of the council. If the chartered organization has more than one unit, one representative serves them all. The Chartered Organization Representative appoints the Unit Committee Chair. 2) The Troop Committee Chair is appointed by the chartered organization and registered as an adult leader of the BSA.
  4. Jameson76

    ECOH Ideas/Tips/Suggestions

    Remember that in many ways the EBOR is a way to thank the unit, the unit leaders, and others who have helped. Yes it is about the Scout, but also about those that helped
  5. Jameson76

    Troop/Patrol dining flys

    Our troop uses the basic 12 x 12 tarps available at Home Depot. For the uprights we use 8' 2x2's (also from Home Depot for about $1 each) with a nail driven in the top. Each patrol sets up a tarp, takes six stakes if setting up in a field. Also can easily be setup in trees. Each patrol has a table, and a patrol box with stoves. For fun we recreate Norman Rockwell paintings
  6. Jameson76

    Summer Camp Staff

    Unscented soaps and shampoo, helps keep the bugs away Small shampoos (hotel type) and liquid soaps as you will leave them in the shower Snacks and good container to keep them in Good walking shoes, try to vary each day If you have one a fitbit or step tracker is kind of fun, you will be amazed at the number of steps each day As has been noted, good daypack to keep all your stuff in during the walking about camp Water bottle, but honestly after week 1 at camp the campers will leave plenty of them around and you will have your pick Good towel, but honestly after week 1 at camp the campers will leave plenty of them around and you will have your pick A second Class A shirt, they can get gamey as the week progresses Cheap sunglasses and a cord to keep them, you will be in the sun a great deal Hammock Good socks
  7. No dog in this fight (BTW - do not support dog fighting but it's a great old expression) as our unit has eschewed any camporees, etc. The judging of "best" troop or "best" patrol at events when there are NOT objective measurements is suspect at best. Have a camporee competition where Scouts paddle a canoe out and back, lowest time wins, great. Tie 8 knots in a relay, lowest time wins, super. When you start adding mystery "Bonus" points for patrol spirit, team effort, appearance, etc etc, then the competition becomes no longer a competition, but an anointing by the camporee adults of who they think (or feel?) should win. The Scouts can see through this sham very quickly
  8. Jameson76

    Vintage Uniform Question

    Oscar D was about 1980 or so
  9. Jameson76

    Leadership Disagreements

    Settle it by building a Thunderdome....Two leaders enter; one leader leaves!
  10. Jameson76


    My scouts prove on every outing that ramen does not in fact need to be cooked, it can be eaten as is and is a great crunchy snack. The flavor packets are poured over as a "flavoring"
  11. Jameson76

    BACKPACKING: Breakfast

    That is true, but sometimes convenience trumps Paula Dean input (hey ya'll, we're gonna fry some butter in butter and it's gonna be delicious) Actually they do sell an instant grits that comes in a self serve cup (you can get oatmeal also), just add water. A little bulky on the outbound leg, but they compress down nicely for the trip back. We add beef jerky to the grits and that is mighty tasty.
  12. Jameson76

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    We were coming back from an outing last week, stopped for lunch, saw the Girl Scouts were selling cookies nearby so we wandered over and bought some cookies, talked about our recent outing, heard about their projects, and we went on our way. The sky did not open, everyone was pleasant, and we ate several boxes of Samoas before we got back to the church
  13. The numbers are in for 2018. Apparently the addition of Girls into Cub Scouts did not result in the overall jump start that was hoped for in the program https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/2018-Report-to-the-Nation.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3j99qbIlquBwh9QR2FCQwQQMLtzmhDOyTPsBndc4v8g1RgoC65hgYW7p0 As a comparison (Note that 2014 numbers were a little imprecise in the annual report)
  14. Jameson76

    Youth Protection Clarification Question

    Policies made at the 50,000 foot level, far far away from actual persons (dare I say customers??) who are involved in your program, and made by peoples that are not involved in the day to day, actually in the trenches will more than often miss the mark. Typically as the Scouting volunteers move up the ladder of their respective council they move further away from the day to day actual "business" of Scouting. They will be able to speak volumes of how they are involved in the program; Woodbadge staff, working staff at Commissioner College, staffing an event at the council camporee, doing summer camp inspections, SM for NYLT, teaching at MB university, etc etc. Good things, but the nuts and bolts are sometime missed. What looks good in theory and well designed on paper, may not meet muster with an actual unit As Helmuth von Moltke the Elder noted (He was the Chief of Staff of the Prussian army before World War 1).....“No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” Same could be said of most of these policies to one degree or another
  15. Jameson76

    Youth Protection Clarification Question

    To say that if your son invites a friend to your house, to play video games, and he lives nearby and he happens to be in the scout troop, but your son is not quite home yet, and since you are there also (maybe working upstairs) is a violation of YPT as this is one on one contact in or out of Scouting is absurd. Doubling down on this, they are playing video games and move on to getting gear together and planning food for an upcoming outing, now that is a scout meeting and "horrors" there are not 2 YPT trained leaders around. Tripling down, your daughter (you are the dad, only parent home) has a friend come over, they are both in the new girls troop, to do some school work. Her dad is a troop leader with you. As they come in, the usual pleasantries, then a conversation about gear and planning food for an upcoming outing, now this has morphed into a scout meeting and "MORE horrors" while both you and her dad are YPT trained leaders there is NOT a female YPT trained leaders in the vicinity, clear clear violation. In all cases I would expect you would need to self report OR logically you realize the absurdity of many the revised YPT rules and nuances, and just keep on keeping on, working to deliver program and maybe generate some YPT absurdity skits.
  16. Jameson76

    2018 Membership numbers are in

    That may in fact be the case, but they do list is separately in all the annual numbers reporting Exploring career-based programs is one group boys and girls in elementary through high school in Learning for Life character education programs is a second group
  17. Jameson76

    2018 Membership numbers are in

    Agreed. The inference was "jump start" which would imply a move in a better direction. As noted, this was only a short time for the girls in Cubs for 2018, but it was a 1.1% drop. Maybe that is better than it would have been. For BSA as a whole the I believe the goal was a 2% increase, which would have been a net increase from 2017 of 53,188 youth. As for the expectation, if you review CSE Surbaugh's messages and the famous survey, (97% of families want to be involved in a program LIKE the BSA) then this is not great news
  18. Jameson76


    They may not want to with the girls due to the somewhat onerous YPT requirements for girls. If I as a MB counselor wanted to work with the boys in my troop, we would get together prior to the meeting, there are leaders and other scouts, etc. arriving. I usually work with my unit only, but have had some from other units, again same times, so no YPT issues. Now, being very literal with YPT (any Scout meeting) if some girls wanted to meet I have to make sure there is a YPT trained female leader over 21 also around for the duration of the session. Many MB counselors may not want to try to overcome or arrange that hurdle. If it was just two YPT leaders, they could come by prior to our meetings, but that extra requirement National has put in may put a damper (fear??) on folks wanting to do it. Not saying it's right, but sometimes rules have end results not fully intended.
  19. It is the unique nature of the outdoor program. Seeing Scouts grow and mature as they play and have fun in that environment. Then when they are 16 - 17 and realize the method to the madness, and that they have experienced what not many of their friends may have been involved in. I was raised in a basically suburban area, but we had acreage and with neighbors there was 60 - 90 acres i wandered with friends. Scouting was an extension of that and the fun of going off for the weekend and longer term camps. My goal is to get these guys out and about. Working with the unit seeing the Scouts go from unsure crossover Scouts to tentatively taking leadership roles, to taking full leadership roles is the why. Speaking with parents who can see the benefits and what their boys get from the program. While the advancement is part of it, it is the experiences and learning to work in a group of peers. My son relates that when he was a smart alecky 11 year old having an older scout tell him to stop being such a PITA was huge, as he was being one, it had an impact. Then when he became a leader of the new Scout program realizing that he was not the best participant when he was a new scout, and needed to apologize to his new scout PL The final reward can come when sitting on an EBOR or during an ECOH and hearing the Scouts talk about what was significant and how it affected and shaped them. The Scouting program is not a one and done "season". It is growth as the scouts move from elementary, to middle school, to high school. They learn to be self sufficient, to be responsible, and to own their actions. That's why I drive 4K plus miles annually and camp 30 plus nights each year. Plus 11 year old's setting up a patrol tarp and cooking is better than any Comedy Channel special.
  20. Sadly we have less than 10 months left to disparage them......
  21. JTE is definitely a corporate Lean type site measurement that was brought it. We typically get Gold status, but not sure it's something we focus on, but moving on... In JTE measurement the challenge I have is that Budget for the unit has the same equivalency as Short Term camping. A troop can be a Gold unit and in a year do only 4 short term campouts and going to summer camp. The JTE certainly does hopefully move units to do certain things, but clearly (IMHO) any unit that is "GOLD" should be camping 9 -12 times per year as short term, some of those campouts should be backpacking or hike in, they should be somewhat physically challenging and involve some HA type activity (kayaking, climbing, etc), and some of these should be 2 night activities. Rather than outdoor be only max of 20% (400 points max for #6 and #7, out of 2,000 max for the 11 items) that should be a much much larger component. Have a robust outdoor program or a unit is not "Gold". That simple. This is what can and should differentiate Scouting in the marketplace. On Mondays at school when a 7th grader is talking to friends rather than "I played 2 soccer games on Saturday", maybe a kid is telling how he went "hiking down in some gorge and was sliding on rocks into a pool of water and it was great!". That is what sells the program, not budgets, etc.
  22. On the tour permits my assumption is that the lawyers and risk group determined that by presenting the accepted standards, then the onus of compliance is clearly shifted to the unit. The unit has an issue?? On My!! The local council and National BSA basically have a hands off fallback and refer to GTSS and basic leader training that the issue is clearly on that unit, they had (or should have had) the need detail and should have followed the accepted guidelines. Honestly they were really self declaratory anyway. In our unit we have a checklist to make sure hitting all the high points. The on-line process was way better, I recall having to go to the office to get them stamped. Still have my copy of the National Tour Permit I got when my Explorer Post drove out to Philmont in 85
  23. That is so true...Cubs is really a PARENTS program and Boy Scouts is a BOYS YOUTH program. Remember your customer and serve that customer. Once you burn out the Cub parent, they and the youth are gone forever
  24. That would be the solution, but that sadly that was not the problem. Challenge was not engagement, the real issue BSA wanted to solve was pool of applicants. If your program is for 3rd - 5th graders then you have an X number of potential participants. By adding 2nd grade, then 1st grade, then Kindergarten the organization basically doubled the pool of participants. The issue is retaining members, their (BSA Dallas) solution is to make the pool bigger, not solve or work on retaining members. It is fairly simple, PROGRAM, do FUN stuff. Make it ENGAGING. Look at the merit badges in Boy Scouts. Literally the FIRST requirement is basically hazards and risk mitigation. In no way am I saying we should not be cognizant of that, but there are ways to communicate in a less tedious manner. You can give a brief safety review, then go do stuff, and as you progress work with youth on how to do it in the proper and safe way. I was at one district event, there was literally a 30 minute safety meeting and basically we were camping and it was cold. This type of mindset, fear of risk, hampers many units. What they are doing is not that inherently risky, but they go down the rabbit hole of "safe" programming and it is bland. Also for our unit, that may have been the last district event we went to, better to be out in the world on our own. Fast forward to 2017, need more members....double the pool size and add girls. BSA needs to spend more time understanding retention and promoting OUTDOOR PROGRAM, then if you build it they will come.
  25. We have had numerous current Scouts that basically stopped Cubs during 3rd or 4th grade and then they joined the troop when we crossed over Webelos to Scouts in the spring. The feedback was the boys were just tired of the Cub program, seemed to be the same things over and over. The Boys were ready for the freedom of Boy Scouts, being able to chart their course. In many cases the parents were weary of it also. Much bigger difference between kindergarten and 5th graders and what they can do as compared to the spread of activities for 6th graders to juniors in High School. BSA has, I guess, determined short term gain (more numbers for the councils) is better than long term members.