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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. 8 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

    There are a few of us here who were scouts in the 60s or even 50s.   I joined up in '69 but the big uniform change was in '72 or '73.  Something about Oscar de la somethingorother.    


    Oscar D was about 1980 or so

  2. Just now, DuctTape said:

    also, if you have access to an Asian grocery store, they have aisles of instant ramen. These are not your 6packForaDollar crud, but very very good. Most have 3 or 4 packets of "condiments" which are added. 

    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"

  3. 2 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

    "No self-respecting southerner eats instant grits."

    -My Cousin Vinny 😀

    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.  

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  4. 2 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

    Disturbed, frustrated, disappointed; however it should be categorized, it's present for a number of reasons. 

    1. I appreciate that we some professional Scouters on this site, I wish more would come and participate. I have a number of professional Scouters I count as personal friends  (i.e. being friends outside of Scouting as well as in). Unfortunately there are many volunteers that have a negative opinion of professional Scouters in general, mostly unwarranted. It is usually based on a single or few encounters, where professionals are doing their job correctly but it rubs the volunteer the wrong way. I spend a fair amount of time defending professionals from volunteers that really have no reason to be upset. RichardB frequently comes across as dismissive and condescending and that is bothersome. 
    2. It is frustrating that it appears he and other professionals have not read the documents with a close eye and critical thought or he would see how they can be confusing. 
    3. It is frustrating that those making national policy appear to have little to no unit level Scouting experience so they can understand volunteers issues.
    4. If he and others do have unit level experience and do read the documentation closely, but do not understand or acknowledge that BSA distributes contradictory and confusing information across various documents, sometimes within the same document, that is doubly frustrating. 

    To quote: "Feedback is a gift." If it felt like it was received that way more often it would go a long ways towards better volunteer/professional relationships.

    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

    • Upvote 3

  5. 2 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

    The absurdities are endless.  If two boys, say working on the First Class cooking requirements, decide to sit together during their school lunch break to work on menus, two registered over 21 YPT trained adult leaders must be present?  It's a meeting afterall.  

    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.

    • Upvote 1

  6. 26 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

    I'm not sure your graph is exactly accurate. Exploring is under the LFL umbrella, they should not be separated. I believe those 109,613 Explorers are already included in the 313,020 LFL report.


    It's very sneaky the way national reported it. 

    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

  7. 8 minutes ago, FireStone said:

    Did anyone really think we'd see that jump in less than a year? I certainly didn't. I always figured this was a 5-year minimum to get any real sense of how things would go.

    I never even looked at it as a "jump". It would always be a long, slow progression and a leveling-off after the early years of ups and downs.

    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

  8. 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


    As a comparison 

    (Note that 2014 numbers were a little imprecise in the annual report)





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  9. 7 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

    Not sure if this is the right forum or not.  But today I was asked by a scoutmaster of a Troop with girls in it to help a couple scouts with a merit badge since I am a counselor for it.  Of course I said yes.  The Scoutmaster told me after my response that a majority of counselors are saying no to her because they don't want to work with girls.  I don't understand why a scouter wouldn't want to help any youth out.


    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.

  10. 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.



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  11. 15 hours ago, Eagledad said:

     I was a little surprised that National took away tour permits. Maybe the bureaucracy was more than the councils could handle, but it was a good preparation checklist for traveling with a troop full of scouts. The PLC filled out the Tour Permit in our troop.


    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

  12. 30 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    Where most folks think out-of-context is they look at it from the boys perspective. "It's the boys program". In reality, Cubs is all about adults because they do all the work. If you don't keep the adults happy, the leave. Burnout is a huge issue and the number one reason why troops are much bigger.


    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

    • Upvote 1

  13. 46 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    My assumption is the BSA learned that if you don't engage them while they are in K or 1st grade, you can easily lose them to other activities and commitments.

    With so many sports now starting in K and 1st grade (soccer and even wrestling come to mind), I think BSA has little choice to offer options at the ages when families are making these commitments.

    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.

  14. 8 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    I'm not sure the right answer.  But I do strongly question the idea of cub scouts in kindergarten just to avoid losing the second grade recruiting.   

    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.

  15. Have a Boy Scout that joined due to influence of friends, basically to do High Adventure, and he was 15 and about 9 months at the time.  Really good youth.  He did go to Seabase with a crew, not the one he wanted to , but another we sent.  That summer he went to camp, did the new Scout program.  While there we talked and I asked what he wanted to get out of Scouting.  He advised have fun, go camping, maybe earn Life rank.  We looked at the dates and advised he could actually get Eagle, if he committed to the journey through Scouting.

    He ended up going to our Second summer camp and served as a JASM for the week.  Managed to earn some fun merit badges and some Eagle required.  Then he did High Adventure this past summer, and went to the second summer camp again as a JASM.  Good leadership and a great asset.

    Now he has completed his 21 merit badges and is beginning work on his Eagle project.  Great example to other Boy Scouts in the troop.

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  16. 10 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

     This eagle scout was required to have a fire bucket on each side of a tent in addition to the stenciled "no flames in tents!" on the rain fly. 

    Not sure when that went away.  When on staff (way back in the old days, before the internet and cell phones, you know the dark ages*) we had stacks of #10 cans painted red and they would be place out in camp for dirt and water.  They were placed at each tent.

    Been back at summer camps with the troop over the last 10 years and we do not seem to have that any longer.  There is the stencil for NO FLAMES IN TENTS painted on them.

    We keep buckets in the troop trailer for the main campfire (or campfires) when camping.  If we have a fire at summer camp, which is rare as it's normally like 900 degrees so fire is not a great option, and have them out.

    *though is was the dark ages the albums and music were the best, still enjoyed by all the Boy Scouts lo these many years later

  17. 6 hours ago, mrkstvns said:


    I'm with Jameson76....a change of pace from the forested east might be nice once in a while. A fun Jambo could be done out in the hot brown sand of the west...

    Wide open Sandy plains.  Call it Burning Baden and end by igniting a giant campaign hat

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  18. 5 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    You must not be a hunter or you would know that it comes right after snipe season.

    We usually concentrate on getting our limit during the elusive "Camp Card Season".  Honestly we do neither (popcorn or camp cards) but enjoy issuing tags to hunters, we're busy camping and letting the Boy Scouts go out and do stuff

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