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Everything posted by Jameson76

  1. Jameson76

    For Fun: What was your favorite Merit Badge?

    Because certainly that is why every 11 year old eagerly joins Boy Scouts; just hoping and hoping to be able to: Attend a city council meeting Have a family meeting Make a 12 week budget Keep a list of chores Write your representative
  2. Jameson76

    For Fun: What was your favorite Merit Badge?

    Railroading. There was a clinic. We did some prep work, then some class review. Then went to downtown, got on a train, did more MB stuff as the train rolled along. They has some RR enthusiast along
  3. Jameson76

    Is BSA Sustainable?

    Good points and to add to them one must (for the sake of this discussion) separate CORPORATE BSA from Scouts running around camping Is BSA Corporate sustainable? - Not sure. There has been noted mismanagement of assets and spending. Most notably Summit and fixed retirement benefits exposure. Also has the overhead been structured to match the field reality?. That being said BSA National is one entity and I believe that local councils are a separate entity and then the units are in fact other entities. As members we are not obligated to pay council debts as the council is not obligated for any unit debts. This will no doubt come to a head in a few years. The hail Mary for including girls and the expected membership increases will likely not be in the magnitude needed. If BSA National folds and/or changes relationship the biggest hurdle will be the liability insurance question. In some cases that may be an improvement as local entities may be able to get lower rates if out from under the umbrella of National and long-term issues Is BSA as a concept in current form sustainable - Again, not sure. Certainly the organization is going to change. The addition of girls, linked troops, and likely coed units will heavily impact summer camps, any district or council activities, and in many cases local units as they change or do not change. This change will bring new leaders (hopefully) and sadly the departure of other with their institutional knowledge. Will BSA continue to promote their aims of character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Will they use and emphasize the methods - Scouting Ideals, Patrols, Outdoors, Advancement, Personal Growth, Adult Association, Leadership Development, Uniforms. Real question is will "BSA" (or whatever name) still be the group for youth leadership, youth being allowed to fail, and youth gaining a quality outdoor experience as they journey through scouting over several years OR will "BSA" become another activity that families and youth do for a season as an after school thing and then maybe move on to something else.
  4. Jameson76

    Scouting ties in the Trump Administration

    Speak for yourself...We have some varying designs stashed in the shed. We only threaten to use them if the District gets uppity. It is sort of a rite of passage for Scouts taking the Nuclear Science MB. Also we have them watch the the 1986 Classic "Manhattan Project"
  5. Should we be worried when our boss informs us he now has a twitter feed and it might be good to check it daily?
  6. Jameson76

    Supplemental Training for Youth Leaders

    Absolutely correct on needing multiple platforms When we started the original website many years ago, that was a huge step. Then we went onto the SOAR site build, linked PayPal and that was great new thing. Then for summer camp we went away from paper registration forms to Google docs, again step forward. Then about 6 years ago added Facebook for photos, again better presence, more visibility. Then we realized we were not communicating with the scouts, talked with them, we launched an Instagram feed. It is evolving as FB has really moved away from youth and more to parents. Instagram may (likely will??) be passe' in a few years and we will be on to something else
  7. Jameson76

    Supplemental Training for Youth Leaders

    The challenge is the everchanging social media preferences The troop website can be used for: Communications Maybe a weekly e-mail to the registered parents Postings Registrations for events Payments if linked to an online payment Rosters Some public detail A troop Facebook page is useful for "what are we doing" now updates: Admittedly may not be the favorite platform Able to post annoucements Able to post photos You can limit tagging and who can post Keeps parents / other family members / unit alumni up to speed on items Then the question is, how to communicate or engage the Scouts. One option is instagram They can choose to follow the troop Announcements can be posted Photos from events can be posted Scouts can send photos to be posted Key is that likely the units will need to be one multiple platforms to get messages to different constituencies
  8. Jameson76

    Supplemental Training for Youth Leaders

    emojis may not always be your friend
  9. Huh Seems like a politico took advantage of a public event to strengthen his candidacy. While that is his right, as the BSA was in charge of the event, likely could have handled it better Apparently Mr Mesuer ran for the 10th district nomination in 08 and lost, the 11th district at some point and is now running for the newly remapped 9th district. The man does not seem to know the word "concede"
  10. Jameson76

    Why Did You Leave Scouts ?

    We have seen feedback that Cubs then Webelos gets waayyy redundant (how many times to a Fire Station). Also the pack meetings are sometimes challenging, there is a pretty big difference between a 1st grader (now a kindergartner) and the 5th graders. There have been some Cubs that leave and then join the troop when they are 11 For the ones in the troop we have seen this feedback My friends are not involved Do not like camping Sports (though we do realize they may be gone for a season) Needs more structure (guess the whole boy led and may fail not seen as value) Too many outings (once a month...seriously??) Just really not my thing
  11. Jameson76

    Family Scouting Update

    Not discounting your anecdotal experience But to be clear, there is nothing preventing her Girl Scout troop from doing any of the activities similar to a BSA unit. That is their choice. Not knowing the breakdown, demographics, or flow of participants within GSUSA; one would presume that if there was demand for mirror type activities similar to the BSA, then that would have been incorporated. Perhaps GSUSA is as tone deaf as BSA with regards to actual things that happen at the actual unit with actual scouts. As long as you sell cookies, all is well
  12. Jameson76

    Family Scouting Update

    Not the same situations or served groups If this was truly a move to by BSA to broaden / expand / service the under served or discriminate against; then maybe. Challenge is the group they are opening the BSA up to already has a group that services them. There are also a myriad of groups that service coed youth; religious, community, neighborhood, educational. Bottom line is this is a move about membership numbers and dollars. That is all. Bad decisions by the professionals over the years and very recently with Summit and bloated National staff. Then they justify this with surveys and separate programs and listening tours and unanimous votes (can you say politburo) is basically not-Trustworthy and not-Loyal This changes the basic thrust of scouting and dilutes the efforts to mold young men. Will it be around in 10 years, maybe. Will it be the same, absolutely not.
  13. Jameson76

    Swimming Merit Badge Questions

    Remember the why behind the swimming emphasis in the BSA, it is a needed life skill From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States about ten deaths per day An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries Swimming skills help Taking part in in formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years However, many people don’t have basic swimming skills A CDC study about self-reported swimming ability found that: Younger adults reported greater swimming ability than older adults. Self-reported ability increased with level of education. Among racial groups, African Americans reported the most limited swimming ability. Men of all ages, races, and educational levels consistently reported greater swimming ability than women.
  14. Jameson76

    Family Scouting Update

    Let's not be gender specific, gotta be inclusive That would be (and I am guessing here) Thanks Mx Google
  15. Jameson76

    Family Scouting Update

    Funny, I had the same sort of feedback when I spoke with our local SE (sorry CEO) after the announcement, he rolled out the term "conditional scouters". Guess the implication is I was only active and supportive as long as I like the conditions. Clearly the challenge is conditions have changed. I did not change it, you did not change it. Not sure this is all good change management
  16. Jameson76

    Family Scouting Update

    You have to take the longer term view, BSA4G spelled another way = Coed. That is where the train is headed with CSE Surbaugh and the National board stoking the fires to keep up the full head of steam. We all have a couple of choices, get on board and embrace the change (make no mistake the whole CO has a choice will be an cast aside) or just be pushed to the side. Those that want to experience a single gender type program for boys, not sure where you can go. Apparently there is one for girls called Girl Scouts. Unlike the BSA (name subject to change) they are pretty adamant about the whole single gender thing. From their post after the October announcement: (note it mentions girl 8 times in just the excerpt) "Girl Scouts is the best girl leadership organization in the world, created with and for girls, We believe strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a free space for girls to learn and thrive."
  17. Jameson76

    Family Scouting Update

    Yep - a whole new world there, while we as leaders strive to work and engage on character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness; that will become a focus and we will become less "Scouting" and more just another youth organization kids can dabble in And that is how the real referendum on these changes will be made
  18. Jameson76

    Family Scouting Update

    5 to 20 minutes
  19. Our guys play Hearts and some other card games. We even keep a supply of regular playing cards in the trailer for such. At the lock-in they play some of these, but then that's what the lock-in is for...that and head shot dodge ball
  20. Jameson76

    Family Scouting Update

    Call it what you want, linked troops will be coed units. But that has obviously been the plan all along. The dishonesty and doublespeak is just atrocious. The whole one committee has 2 troops is again (as with most of this rollout) just a statement made in a world of fantasy. Most troops have enough trouble getting a committee together to actually meet for 1 unit, much less 2 units. Such a mixed message and really poor messaging. As has been stated, the CSE and BSA National is plunging ahead like they have never seen an actual unit function in the real world...with real volunteers...and real actual parents. There is likely little credence to the statements that CO and troops can elect to remain single gender. No doubt that will change in short order. BSA National...just be honest with what you are planning.
  21. Jameson76

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    Agree on the crossing over, that was not even a thing back in the day. You turned 11 and joined a troop. Remember was in Webelos, then went to Scouts. No big deal. Some guys had earlier birthdays so they wrapped up and left. Still recall my first Scout camping trip, and we did not camp as cubs back in the day, was off to the swamp and canoeing about. Best thing ever.
  22. Jameson76

    Adding Girls to Pack

  23. So...to be clear, I am not supposed to be running the Texas hold-em big blind games at camp? Admittedly the pots get way smaller after the first night and "the house" seems to have been the big winner. Will have to adjust the campsite events