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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. 28 minutes ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    I've been reading up on this "Family Scouting" stuff.

    I think it's pretty clear that the primary driving force here is decades of declining membership.  But the infographic states that the rationale is that families are so busy that they would prefer a "one stop solution" for Scouting.  As the father of a son and daughter, and my wife is the troop leader for her Girl Scout troop and my son is in Cub Scouts, I agree, it would be great to have just one activity to juggle in the schedule!

    But it does not look to me like BSA Family Scouting achieves that at all.  If your children are still in separate Dens or Troops, then what schedule consolidation has happened?  Where is the convenience over just staying in BSA/GSA?


    Note the wording on the infographic:

    • are interested in a program like Cub Scouts for their daughters
    • are interested in a program like Boy Scouts® for their daughters

    They do not say they are specifically interested in CUBS or SCOUTS...just a program LIKE Scouts.  So who knows what sort of program that may be.

  2. 6 minutes ago, shortridge said:
    • Keep online conversations with everyone in public places, not in email.”

    First - trying to get a youth to e-mail is tough.  Should be a knot for accomplishing that task.

    We just copy another leader / parent and drive on.  That is public and two deep leadership.  Gotta deliver the program right? 

    The wizards at National who generate the rules and YPT are governed by lawyers.  There are no people involved in this that have worked with an actual unit in at least the last 10 years.  If the professional group could raise money and earn salaries without having the bothersome youth around, they would be all in for that

    • Upvote 1

  3. A chart for tracking exercise seems reasonable.  The other parts should be done as part of activities and the Cubs can accomplish FUN things and not know they are doing it.

    When working with Scouts on Camping Merit Badge we get to requirement 9b and some Scouts are not sure about this one


    1. Hike up a mountain where, at some point, you are at least 1,000 feet higher in elevation from where you started.
    2. Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles.
    3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
    4. Take a nonmotorized trip on the water of at least four hours or 5 miles.
    5. Plan and carry out an overnight snow camping experience.
    6. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.
    Then as I talk with them and we talk about the various outings the troop does they realize they completed these when we did backpacking, our bike outing, or the kayaking trip and did not even realize it.  

  4. 5 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    The term Family Scouting was an extremely poor choice by BSA if it truly means what they stated; a one stop shop for families. Obviously family's and scouters are implementing it as "the entire family is together". That is disappointing. BSA has really lost its edge on how to market effectively.

    Strange how so many come from the business world and are terrible at marketing. Or maybe these ceos and business execs don't really understand the product. It wouldn't be the first time, as it happens in business world a heckuva lot. Yet "we" think we need to pay them 300x + the average employee wage. 

    Agree on Family Scouting



    Sadly many have lost the focus of Scouting in the rush to "Family" scouting.  Scouting was NEVER intended or designed to be a "Family" event or activity.  The dens were designed to be "patrols" with the Den Leader as the patrol leader.  They are supposed to do things as a group WITHOUT Mom and Dad and family being involved.  Go off and do stuff that they experience from THEIR perspective.  Over time the family camping, the siblings, etc have lessened that and made it more the circus that Cubs is.
    Now we can see that creeping into Scouts.  We have more focus on advancement and less focus on the journey and the experience.  Unfortunately I expect the planned extensions for Eagles will not be the only coming change to requirements.


    • Haha 2

  5. 7 minutes ago, RichardB said:

    I'm sorry, did you read the reference / source material?   OP asked about a private online forum set up for PLC use and connected to the Troop.    Seems pretty clear (it's not a hypothetical) that this was set up and being done in the name of Scouting.  

    From the Scouting wire that outlines not only why but the risks:  

    "..To help ensure that all communication on social media channels remains positive and safe, these channels must be public, and all communication on or through them must be public. This enables administrators to monitor all communication and help ensure there is no inappropriate communication between adult leaders and Scouts or between Scouts themselves. Therefore, no private channels (e.g., private Facebook groups or invite-only YouTube channels) are acceptable in helping to administer the Scouting program. Private channels and private communication put both the youth and you at risk. If you feel the information you seek to share via social media channels should not be shared in public, you should not share that information via social media..."

    From the Barriers to Abuse:   

    "...All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents and leaders.

    The BSA does not recognize any secret organizations as part of its program..."


    Note that most of the YPT intent is directed at and intended for Adults to setup barriers for abuse to youth.  Some is there youth to youth, but it is YOUTH Protection

    The original post was about chat groups used by youth to youth.  As has been noted, nothing really different than boys talking to boys, just in a new format.  We as leaders cannot be expected to monitor and observe all conversations youth to youth whether they be in person, in notes, on text, PM's, phone calls, conference calls, etc.  Yes it is about the PLC and if the conversation involved bullying or other topics that needed to be addressed, then same as if the conversation was in person, in notes, on text, PM's, phone calls, conference calls, the leaders could address the issue.

    If the unit sets up a communication medium (say instagram) then yes that should be moderated, all comments public, etc

  6. So to be clear...one can be 17 and 11.5 months and sign up for the BSA, (SA??), on 2/1/2019.  Then request an extension to work towards EAGLE and you would have until one was 19 and 11.5 months to get the Eagle (24 months from an extension request).  No doubt this will make for some interesting camping and sign off experiences.

    Not sure how I feel about this

  7. Reminder that all troops may not be able to and equipped to handle the wide range of Scouts that come their way.  The leaders are volunteers, and they bring only their experiences with them to their roles.  

    You have identified some issues your son.  It appears he has some accommodations that have been worked out with the schools - One  such plan was to "check for understanding" similar to his what is implemented at his school

    There may be some troops that have more experience with these challenges



    • Upvote 1

  8. 14 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    Based on my experience as a crew advisor, such tickers would prove to be  grossly inflated by the unscrupulous, certainly rife with cub bots of both sexes!

    So true So true.  Already the DE's are positing about girls in the "pipeline" and not the actual number of real girls showing up to sign up.  One pack in our area had 1 girl come, they are looking at options, DE reported 10+ "interested"

  9. 13 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

    DE's do some stupid things when the pressure is on.

    Remember (and you know doubt live this) that unit volunteers and professionals approach this with different agendas

    • Unit volunteers will look to what quality program can I provide to the youth and what is the long term window (hopefully years) for participation with the youth coming to my unit
    • Professionals see youth as a commodity and are mainly interested in the numbers NOW, this month, this year.  Goals must be attained.  If they can get the money (make the sale / ABC Always Be Closing) and add widgets to the spreadsheet, their job is done

    Cajoling or bullying a unit is doing what it takes to be successful.  No issue with professionals, they are doing what they are being incentivized to do.

  10. Feedback in our unit is the new YPT seems a bit overkill and heavy handed.

    Seems less the like old one..how to be compliant and adhere to YPT, and has now morphed into selling me that child exploitation is bad, we are likely all on board with that idea.  Also children are in danger, predators abound, be fearful, be watchful, be vigilant

    Wonder how this will play with new leaders, hope it doesn't scare any off

    • Upvote 1

  11. 10 hours ago, Treflienne said:

    I have read a lot of really thoughtful, helpful, insightful posts that you have written on various topics.   You obviously have a lot of valuable experience.   

    And since "A Scout is cheerful" and "A Scout is helpful",  I'm hoping you can put aside the gloom long enough to consider a question: What do you think is most important for the new-to-BSA volunteers to learn?   How would you recommend they learn it?  I'm asking because I will in all likelihood be one of those new-to-BSA volunteers with a new Scouts BSA troop for girls (but only if we get enough girls and enough volunteers to get a troop going).

    Actually,  I'd appreciate input from all y'all, not just Barry.

    Have fun.  If the scouts are not having fun, they will vote with their feet.  Keep the helicopter parents in the back and out of the way.

    Let the youth (with guidance and mentoring) select and be involved with activities that are engaging to them.  If the program becomes more school and classwork to get to the vaunted Eagle rank, you will lose many of them

    Have fun, go outdoors and DO STUFF.  Not for advancement sake, not to get this merit badge or that merit badge, because it is fun, challenging, and engaging.  The advancement can be a byproduct of what is done, not the main purpose.  Go hiking, go climbing, go canoeing, go boating, go through a gorge, go biking, play a wide game, do a lock-in with overnight video games and gym games.

    Did I mention facilitate HAVING FUN?

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    • Upvote 2

  12. I did the flag thing when I was in elementary school.  Principal chose two of us that were in scouts.  We put it up in the morning and took it down in the afternoon.  Fun part was running out of class when a storm came up...good times in the 6th grade, dodging lightning and what not.

    Well done young cubs

  13. Not a huge fan of massive troop "rules".  Never had one, do not plan to have one.  Once you have written "guidelines" one will need to follow them and then you get boxed into a corner.  Sort of like the academic zero tolerance policies.  Huge difference when a kid goes camping with dad and accidentally leaves an axe in the car as compared to kid who brings a knife to school to settle a score.  One must look at intent and hopefully be able to judge and work with kids as individuals.

    We have a large troop and literally have only one written policy, and that concerns cell phones and it was written this year.  Other than that, we try to follow the basic tenants of BSA policy.  I mean Good Lord there are two huge tomes, the GTA and GTSS which are both 100+ pages each.  If that is not enough for you, not sure an additional document will really help

    • Upvote 3

  14. Try to get a shirt that youth will actually wear outside of Scouting events.  If they will wear it outside, they will wear it during

    We do a Class B shirt every summer, also for high adventure treks.  Different color and use the dri-fit type.  Over the last 10 years we have used the same front chest design.  Then the back is emblems from the activities we do each summer.  On outings we have multiple colors, but they are all similar design.  

    I was pretty sure we had hit on a good overall design as I saw the shirts around town, in photos, and other places worn by our scouts.

    The dri-fit was a big hit

  15. I do find it interesting that a 14 year old cannot hold a full time job, cannot typically open a banking account without parental permission, is not able to enter contracts, cannot legally operate a motor vehicle in the US, is not able to consent for sexual activities, serve in the military, vote in elections, cannot purchase a gun, cannot buy liquor or beer, does not have a choice and is required to attend school, cannot fly unaccompanied without a parent or guardian authorizing, and other myriad of items they are not able to do because as a society we have deemed them not mature enough to handle these tasks and responsibilities.....


    This same 14 year old (or younger) determines they are transgender and everyone is supposed to be on board with this and accept that decision at face value.  To question is to be genderphobic and discriminatory.  Not saying there might not be reasons behind that decision, but seriously, this does call for a rational conversation and exploration and a clear understanding by the youth on the ramifications (short term and long term) of this decision.

    • Upvote 3

  16. Waaay Waaay back in the day we could do the school talks.  This was for Boy Scout troops that made for a fun presentation.  I was the DE and would travel to the schools with tents, backpack, etc.  We would setup in the assembly area, then the classes (boys then) would come to us.  It would be the local unit leaders, or their representatives, and myself.  I would do the basic what is Boy Scouts, then the local unit leader would talk specifically about what the local troop actually did.  Note this was early 80's so no mass crossovers, etc.   We had good response because it was tangible

    Not sure we could do that now.  Especially the axes and knives.

  17. On 9/13/2018 at 8:44 PM, StmbtEagle said:

    Our Troop is looking to update the throwing tomahawks and bow's we use for Scouts.  Any recommendations out there?

    Thanks in advance

    Curious what you are throwing the tomahawks into?  We have some, and have not found anything (other than large end cut logs) to throw into.  Sort of tough to tote about.  We have not found a good portable target.

    We have a knife throwing target, a good piece of basic 1/2" plywood on a frame works well.  Easy to setup and move, load into the trailer.  Rope of an area off and have at it.  The light weight throw knifes are inexpensive and only need a tune-up on a grinder occasionally.

  18. 16 minutes ago, FireStone said:

    I don't have a crystal ball, but my expectation of the future of the BSA is we're fully coed within a decade. 

    I'll take the under on that bet / expectation.  Rather than 10 years, there will be "survey" and "groundswell of support" sometime in 2020 / 21 and we will be coed.  

    The challenge will be ramping up any actual functioning girl troops or enough "linked" (wink wink) troops.  BSA will need to decide how to effectively provide a good program and opportunity for the the girls coming out of cubs.  Honestly it takes a minute to stand up a troop and get the institutional knowledge to have a well functioning troop.  

    There may be some Girl troops and they will be new, then they will look over at the established boy troops in the same area with 11 outings annually, maybe 2 summer camps, high adventure, 30+ years of tradition, 10 Eagles a year etc etc.  Why can't they have that now, it's not fair, yada yada.  Not saying the requirement (though it might be) will be for troops to be coed, but it will be an option.  Boy Troops, Girl Troops, Coed Troops will be the three flavors.

    Might be a hard sell to mandate coed for many years, though likely that is the way Boys Scouts...sorry Scouts BSA will be moving.


    • Upvote 1

  19. Wow..I read the web page on Scouting.org.  Looks a good deal like some cobbled together Lean presentation.  Wonder what BSA has paid for this expertise.  Not sure why it starts with Roundtables (FB) and ends up talking about employees (Scouting.org)

    First the FB announcement was 5 paragraphs and literally said nothing

    The link to Scouting.org 

    So..we have the mission statement

    The Polaris Method

    Making the BSA more Effective, Efficient, and Empowered


    Then we define the group(s) / key terms

    • Stakeholder: the end user; the one who needs or uses our service or products.

    • Value: determined from the point of view of the stakeholder. An activity that adds value transforms BSA service in a way that benefits the stakeholder.

    • Efficiency: the single most important focus of the Polaris Method.Any part of the process not adding value to the stakeholder’s experience, is inefficient. We are always looking for WASTE to reduce!

    • Empowerment: is key to sustaining The Polaris Method into the newly adapted culture of continuous improvement. Autonomy to make recommendations and changes drive this effort.

    Then we go FULL consultant and drop in the elevator pitch (which as has been noted, not a lot of elevators out in the woods)...honestly would have been more entertaining if they had called it the cracker barrel pitch or something

    The Polaris Method Elevator Pitch:

    The Polaris Method is a way of thinking and operating designed for efficiency, effectiveness, and empowerment. The Polaris Method is rooted in Change Management and Lean Management blended together with a Scouting twist for the BSA. 

    Lastly we get some of the neat stuff Polaris will yield, but then I get confused as it refers to employees??

    • high employee trust, engagement, and satisfaction at the workplace
    • employee mindset of proactively seeking positive and gainful improvements in all areas of work and customer service by modifying current standard operating procedures
    • a streamlined approach to project implementations with consistent clarity, alignment, and collaboration
    • ability to align the entire team to focus on bottom line goals and being okay letting go of non-high priority items, projects, properties, events, etc.
    • new language and terminology that will make issues feel more solvable and less daunting


    Basically, looks like the DE's and professionals will be tied up over the next 18 - 24 months implementing POLARIS and that will be why they cannot be at meeting or helping units

  20. 20 minutes ago, SSF said:

    Do acknowledge the parent's concern but let them know that it s the scout who should be reaching out; e.g. "Hi Mr. Smith, I appreciate your concerns. Please do ask Billy to send me an e-mail or to see me at the next meeting so that he and I can sit down to discuss."  Then tell Billy that he, and not his Dad, should be driving this discussion and that he should contact the MB counselor himself for clarification on requirements.

    Yep - Had a parent e-mail about some items, several e-mails.  We copied them but directed the inquiry back to the Scout.  Parent was main one asking again, sent a note just to parent reminding them that the advancement is owned by the Scout, they need to drive it.  We want them to copy the parents, but we want to enable the scout to handle his needs.  They backed off and the Scout is doing it now.

    • Upvote 2

  21. Sometimes you have to let the process work.  We are in the southeast and going on an outing.  Saturday looks good for weather, a little windy, but good.  Conditions will deteriorate (maybe) early Sunday morning.  Adults were communicating back and forth about options

    We had a group text with our SPL and ASPL for the weekend to consider options.  Honestly they came up with different options than we had bandied about.  Our thought was a day trip to do the activities (kayaking), then head back to the ranch.  They determined to go and then make the decision about staying when we clear the river.  They are considering the data provided, looking at weather channel, etc

    Their decision, so that's what we are doing.