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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. 14 minutes ago, TMSM said:

    We have a new fund raising chair who insisted that we can no longer wear class As while selling our pancake breakfast tickets. Thats not going to happen but was wondering if anyone has ever gotten into trouble wearing uniforms during fund raising. 

    Is that a Unit  or District  or Council "Fund Raising Chair"?  If in the Unit your CC should have a word with him and determine what the perceived issue may be in their mind.  Seems this is the UNIT pancake breakfast, this is a Scouting activity, so yes to the uniforms

    If District or Council...refer them to the UC or DC

    Here is some information


    Here is the unit fundraiser application


    Note the question on page 1 - Will your members be in uniform while carrying out this project? (See items 3–6 on other side.)

    These are items 3 - 6 (honestly question if overpriced popcorn complies with #%)

    3. Will your fund-raiser prevent promoters from trading on the name and goodwill of the Boy Scouts of America?      Because of Scouting’s good reputation, customers rarely question the quality or price of a product. The nationwide network of Scouting units must not become a beehive of commercial interest.

    4. Will the fund-raising activity uphold the good name of the BSA?      Does it avoid games of chance, gambling, etc.? Selling raffle tickets or other games of chance is a direct violation of the BSA Rules and Regulations, which forbid gambling. The product must not detract from the ideals and principles of the BSA.

    5. If a commercial product is to be sold, will it be sold on its own merits and without reference to the needs of Scouting?      All commercial products must sell on their own merits, not the benefit received by the Boy Scouts. The principle of value received is critical in choosing what to sell.

    6. If a commercial product is to be sold, will the fund-raising activity comply with BSA policy on wearing the uniform?      The official uniform is intended to be worn primarily for use in connection with Scouting activities. However, council executive boards may approve use of the uniform for any fund-raising activity. Typically, council popcorn sales or Scout show ticket sales are approved uniform fund-raisers


  2. 14 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    Where I'd love to see national focus is on really encouraging hands on volunteering in Scouting again.  Really focusing on supporting tools & methods for council & district Scouters to get out and engage with new volunteers to help them in strengthening their unit programs.  Creating decent local training, teaching local leaders how to run a modern roundtable, how to really build a local membership program, etc.  National could do a lot to recognize that basic leader training, IOLS, and Wood Badge are not enough to really prepare a local team to run a Scouting program in a city or several small towns.

    Agree 100%

    The challenge is so many of the volunteers that plot direction, lead efforts, implement the new and most current WB training, etc etc, have NOT actually seen a Scout or Cub in years and years.  They may "attend" a big event, but it is at best a drive by.  For many they have not done a full weekend camping event in eons, if ever at all.  By this I mean being in the CO lot before the Scouts come, hooking up the trailer, stepping back and gently reminding the youth leaders what needs to be done, driving to the campsite, setting up (often in the dark), helping the youth ensure the program is running, maybe some first aid, helping the youth that need it, packing up, unloading at the CO, waiting for the last parents, unloading your own gear later...etc etc

    These council / national volunteers are well meaning, but they need to fully get WHY the kids are there, (probably not STEM or the latest flavor of the week; most likely it is they are looking for FUN with their friends, a break from the routine) and actually what brings them to an outing and Scouts.  Chatting with some at a big event does not make give the answers.  Time in the woods, in the mud, with the burned meals will.

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  3. 8 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    Here's the history I could find here:

    • 1948 - 1st Class - 1 night of camping
    • 1965 - 1st Class - 2 overnight trips
    • 1972 - no camping requirement
    • 1976 - earn camping skill award ( 2 overnight trips)
    • 1990 - 1 overnight camp for each rank.  3 overnight camps total
    • 2016 - T-1 night. 2nd Class-3 nights.  1st Class-6 nights

    If we're at 3 nights now, we didn't even get there until 1990.  Seems to me that we've actually gotten more outdoor focused over time.


    Seems that 1st class would be 3 nights of camping

    • Tenderfoot now - Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch.
    • Second Class now - Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in five separate troop/patrol activities, at least three of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least two must include overnight camping
    • First Class now - Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities, at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping
    • Thanks 1

  4. 39 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Yes. Rationale for that is to allow the Scouts to compete and have fun. HOWEVER the ideas for the events are picked by the SPLs. We have a SPL & SM Crackerbarrel Saturday nite that is a Thorns and Rose's session as well as planning session for next year. All of next year's events have already been selected by the SPLs.

    Sort of the same thing our district did for the winter event.

    Leaders manned the events, Scouts wandered about camp going (or not) to the stations.  Our troop leaders would man the event, basically describe the station, then let the various troops patrols figure it out.  We never sent anyone around with the Scouts, figured they had a map, off they go.

    Usually they came back to the site, especially when it got dark and cold.

    • Upvote 1

  5. 59 minutes ago, MacBrave said:

    Our council's method of "fee assistance"?   A one-time special popcorn sale with a 75% commission.  Of course units have to order the popcorn in advance and hope they can sell it.........


    When money is needed the answer is ALWAYS sell more popcorn.  It's certainly not a solution, but it is the required response from the councils.  Turn your kids into hucksters....

  6. 1 hour ago, Treflienne said:

    Well,  my scouts are not quite at that point yet,  but they are definitely getting practise with knot tying and shear lashings.

    The first time the troop rolled out the revamped camping methods; tarps up etc; about 10 years back it literally took about 2 hours, in the rain, in the dark to set up tarps.  Now it takes about 10 minutes

    • Upvote 3

  7. 11 hours ago, ParkMan said:


    just that in 2019 protecting youth from abuse is the single highest priority today.  


    In no way trying to diminish that effort and emphasis, but should the protection of youth be WHY there is the Boy Scouts instead of being part of WHO we are?  My concern is that BSA puts so much emphasis on this, and it is important, the effort for YPT seems to become the reason for the Scouts.  In talking with a pro the other day his main selling point seemed to be BSA's Youth Protection and not the program offering.

    YPT and adherence is critical to a good unit, but program should be front and center, YPT should be part of how we deliver that program, not YPT being our signature offering.

    • Upvote 1

  8. Our standard is patrol's setup tarps, they have a table, and a patrol box for each group.  They setup patrol gear before they setup tents and tarps.

    Troop uses a roughly 12 x 16 tarp (available at Home Depot).  Typically set up between trees, but the Scouts like to use poles.  We looked at actual expandable tarp poles ($15 to $20 each) and bought a bunch of 2" x 2" x 8' lumber (also from Home Depot) for about $2 each.  Put a nail in the end and we had tarp poles.

    The nice thing with the tarps is the Scouts set them up, gives them an area to congregate, if there is rainy / damp weather good to have cover.

    For backpacking we have a couple of lighter trail tarps  

    Here we are recreating Norman Rockwell's painting.."We Thank Thee O Lord"  (Our's is on top, original for reference)

    No photo description available.


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  9. 19 minutes ago, Jackdaws said:

    I think its baloney that they force you to get Boys Life.   Why not just call it a $24 insurance fee?    Really Boys Life is probably a waste of money.  How much money goes into that for each issue?  How many staff?   Just go digital or send a few to each unit (depending on unit size) for them to share.  My local library has copies of them.  

    I think Boys Life is optional.  When you recharter, you have to check (or not check) that box.  In our unit we used to roll that into annual dues.  When the last big increase came along, we kept the dues the same, and then if Scouts wanted BL they could pay extra...very few in fact did.

    • Upvote 2

  10. the OFFICIAL word from the BSA's National Communications Team:

    "For more than 100 years, Scouting has helped build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun and adventure in the outdoors. At Boy Scouts of America, we are dedicated to developing leaders of character by preparing young men and women for life by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The timeless ideals of the Scout Law, such as being trustworthy, helpful, kind and brave, make up the foundation young people need to address and overcome challenges in their lives and the issues facing their generation.

    Now as we continue the Scouting mission, it is important that we keep pace with an ever-changing world. While costs to the organization have increased every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically. We kept the cost low to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible but keeping the cost artificially low for many years now magnifies the impact of changes.

    To ensure we have the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting despite increasing operating costs, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has made the difficult but necessary decision to increase the annual membership fee effective January 1, 2020 to:

    - $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,

    - $36 for youth members in Exploring, and

    - $36 for adult members

    Every dollar of the national membership fee will go toward the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, program resources, safety standards, youth protection and personal safety training, and services to councils nationwide to sustain Scouting. The National organization will also continue to develop and improve resources that support our volunteers and youth members such as online registration, Member Care and Scoutbook, which now includes the Den Leader experience to ensure the safe and consistent delivery of Cub Scouting; as well as improvements aimed at simplifying the annual renewal process.

    Across the country and in our own community, we know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow. From once-in-a-lifetime adventures to merit badges that spark interests and future careers; from campouts under the stars to service projects that leave a lasting impact on our communities; Scouting’s year-round program expands horizons and provides young people with a safe and welcoming place to learn, grow, and thrive.

    That is why we are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to our existing council and unit membership assistance, we have established a national Growing Future Leaders Fund, which is funded entirely through donations, to provide additional financial support to those who need it."

    (BSA Statement, 12:30pm Oct 23, 2019)

    • Upvote 1

  11. Roughly another $1,700 for our unit.  We have a corporate sponsor lined up, so life moves on


    8 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

    defcon 1 here at the office. Phones are unplugged and doors are locked. We are sacrificing the interns 


    (kidding of course)

    I trust you are using the GTSSI (Guide to Safely Sacrificing Interns) - make sure you have the 2018 update

    • Upvote 1

  12. Just now, ParkMan said:

    I like a good rant as much as anyone, but how does this impact prioritizing an outdoor program?  If anything, providing more facilities for advanced outdoor programming is a good thing.

    In theory it does not, but in practice it is a facility that is not fully utilized, and takes resources from other areas.  In general it puts the organization at financial risk.  For a local unit, not so much impact until they see the update registration fee and may not realize that some portion of that is in fact a Summit Tax.

    Similar to a unit that goes all out for popcorn sales working to exceed last year, not necessarily a bad thing in general, but units, like organizations, only have so much bandwidth and human capital.  They all work on the sales and then other parts of the program suffer.  There must be a balance.

    When National has to move things, make events, and work to make Summit relevant, it's an issue.  Over time it will impact the outdoor program as there are only so many resource to go around

    • Upvote 1

  13. 1 hour ago, Momleader said:

    Considering tomorrow is the date we have been told we would hear by....every council is doing a good job keeping mum about it if they know yet. 

    as to pack’s budgeting for this - it’s hard to budget for something like this when we were told NO New Increases. Then we get told as school starts, there’s an increase to insurance fees, and we might be raising the council fees now .... then the day after recruiting night ‘guess what?!  National is raising the rates!!’    It’s a moving target and makes you dizzy trying to follow it  

    after the dust settles if our pack doesn’t have to refund all the parents the fees paid for this year (19-20) I will probably stick around and keep finding adult training like Baloo/owls for the pack leaders even going out of Council when need arises and planning kid friendly stuff for the remaining cubs to do


    Actually they are voting today I believe, announcement tomorrow.

    We are a large well funded troop, but there is a huge difference between a $10 rate increase or a $70 rate increase.  We charter about 100 Scouts and leaders, looking at what could be a $7,000 shortfall, so options are limited

  14. 6 minutes ago, ParkMan said:
    • If you're the Chief Scout Executive or the national board, what's more important - fostering an outdoor program that already exists or trying to stave off financial disaster, continual declines in membership, or abuse lawsuits?

    Maybe trying to figure out how to extricate yourself from the financial disaster that is Summit Bechtel, that is $500 MM - $750 MM that will never be used to support local Scouting programs.  Needed money that was poured (shoveled??) into a vanity project by the Chief Scout Executive and the National Board who are so far removed from actual Scouting it's like a they are in another organization.

  15. 22 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    Twice this week (once on in person and once online), I heard from leaders, that when they started, they took all the online training and still didn't know how to be a tiger DL!

    We have a thread from a scouter who is trying to outline "how to start a unit" and is doing it from Troop experience.

    It seems like we got into the habit of thinking the tail should wag the dog.

    It's a far cry from "Get the boys together, read the book, pick the next chapter, do what it says."

    Getting the push to be 100% trained in the district, which is an admirable goal, so took the Merit Badge Counselor on-line training.  more just fluff, very little nuts and bolts.  That's the same comment most of our leaders made with the "NEW" YPT, it was more theory and convincing us that endangering children was bad and less about how to be compliant and "DO" YPT.  The old training was really applicable, DO this DON'T do this etc etc.  

    When we do training for the Troop Leaders our emphasis is on them having the Scouts DO stuff.  When doing fire building we do not need Scouts to understand combustion, ignition points of materials, etc.  Maybe later, but let them strike some matches and see that logs do not in fact make kindling.

    Focus on DOING, Focus on getting out in the woods and letting the Scouts be Scouts.


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  16. After some local meetings and conversations with local professionals, I am curious what are the actual BSA priorities now?

    It seems that apparently our main focus and purpose is YPT, it currently defines the movement; then maybe training, it is most important; then making the Bechtel Summit property an essential asset (hey let's move everything there) so it can be protected in a bankruptcy; then remember it's all about being an Eagle Scout, or maybe the new background checks, if you don't toe the line, see ya; and just shut up and pay the new fee as Scouting is a great value; then let's make sure we add girls (which is fine); and remember No Bullying; don't forget that Family camping is the best thing ever; we need to add kindergartners; and there is STEM; and etc etc etc

    Seems that National and Local Councils have moved away from focusing on Outdoor Programs and letting youth learn and grow.  You remember, patrols and youth led activities.  Successful Units continue that focus and honestly much of this does not impact us directly, but long-term it will be harder to bring in new youth.

    Families will look at all of the red tape, and after sitting through the 2 hour YPT training and go...yeah...maybe not.  

  17. 2 hours ago, CNYScouter said:

    @Jameson76 Was the camporee theme Alice's Restaurant?

    Weird part was the camporee  wasn't at the restaurant, it was at a church nearby the Restaurant.  We got up there and found all the garbage in there and the troops decided that it'd be a good service project for us to take the garbage down to the city dump.  So we took the half-a-ton of garbage, put it in the back of an SUV, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, and headed on toward the city dump. 

    Well, we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across the dump sayin', "this dump is closed on account of the camporee" and we'd never heard of a dump closed for a camporee, and with tears in our eyes, we drove off into the sunset lookin' for another place to put the garbage.  We didn't find one till we came to a side road, and off the side of the side road was another fifteen-foot cliff, and at the bottom of the cliff was another pile of garbage.  We decided that one big pile was a lower impact on the environment than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up, what with it being more than 4 feet and us not having climbing gear, we decided to throw ours down. That's what we did

    We all drove back to the church, had a Camporee Dutch Oven dinner that couldn't be beat, had a campfire with skits and whatnot, went to sleep, and didn't get up until the next morning, when we got a phone call from Officer Obie....and you can sort of guess that is spiraled out of control from there.
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  18. 4 hours ago, desertrat77 said:

    Ah, not so fast.  One of my fellow staffers, a true WBer through and through, stopped everybody from leaving.  Rather, demanded they stop and listen to him talk.  He gave them a long condescending speech about the aims of scouting, including a quiz ("Who can name the second aim of scouting?  Anybody?"), safety briefing ala tie your shoes and don't stare into the sun, etc.

    Not too many years ago at summer camp we had something like that happen.  We had a new Dad who was keeping up with the first year scouts.  They have a 2 hour program in the morning, request is to at least have 1 leader there if there are any behavior or attention concerns, staff brings them to the center of the area, they go back to the patrol they are working with.  Basically the leaders sort of hang out, chat, do e-mails, some do some work, etc.  

    He came back to the site and told us how one person who was WB staffer, on their Council training staff, etc etc and felt as there were adult leaders there, training must be done.  She was very insistent and persistent.  Their version of discussions and making sure all were graced by their knowledge.  The area director was not really sure what to do about this.  After comments to the camp, on the second day the program director stepped in, if they wanted to do training, that was fine but they needed to do it in another area and the PD would be glad to make the announcement at the morning leader meeting.  Just needed to know the subject so interested folks could attend.

    Nobody was interested.

  19. 43 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

    I think many event managers in the BSA don't really know how units are supposed to camp, or if they do, they are so risk averse they crowd everyone together and lay down a bunch of rules.


    District has a winter event, we have stopped attending.  Basically run by the adults in the OA, complete with (I kid you not) 20 page handbook.  Troops and patrols are told what they should bring, how they should dress, are evaluated as such.  I asked one time why not send out a list of events, patrols bring what they think they need?  Blank stares.

    My final straw was when the SPL and I went to the Friday meetings and there was a 20 minute diatribe on Safety.  Yes be safe, but Good Lord.  Then another 15 minutes health lodge processes.  MY SPL leaned over and asked if we couldn't just handle stuff at the campsite if needed, I said you bet.  In the 45 minute meeting maybe 5 minutes about the program.

    Don't get me started on the convoluted formulas, secret calculations, and mystery awarded points to determine the "winner" of the camporee.  Funniest thing was at all the assemblies, etc the only ones talking were the OA adults, they had actual Scouts standing there but none of them we (I guess??) deemed worthy to be in charge.

    Guess with all their WB and OA training they missed the whole youth led stuff


    • Upvote 2

  20. 22 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

    @69RoadRunner, your camporees sound similar to ours (the ones outside of our district, that is).  All units crowded together by decree, though there are plenty of woods and other open spaces to camp.  Adults acting as SPL and PLs, with all of the scouts cooking together under one dining fly.  Clueless people being loud during quiet hours. 

    Then we add the dynamic of WBers, be they on the staff or self appointed, directing the troops and crews as if they were all cub dens under their control....

    It's no surprise camporee participation is dropping like a stone around the BSA.  At least the councils I've been in.  Fun factor is nearly zero.

    Added:  I'm not a jambo person either.  I'd rather camp in the middle of the nowhere.



    I came to one council one to do an event only, was surprised that in an 1,800 acre reservation they had the troops all corralled in the big field when there were acres (literally) and acres of land they could have used.  There was another whole camp they didn't use.  Looked like some sort of really bad festival.  Each troop have like 100 SF and the next troop guidelines were right there.

    Not sure what the thinking is for these

    • Upvote 1

  21. 11 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    Please note that we have denoted all uniform police to insignia dorks. Use that term in all future posts.;)

    We have started wearing red epaulettes, Eagle mentor pins, and multiple temporary patches just to tweak the UP...sorry ID.  Granted they will need to come find us in the woods, but our spirit is there

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