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About AVTech

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    Metro Boston
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    AV Technician

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  1. AVTech

    Youth Membership vs Adult Membership

    As far as I know, if this person, if they are 18-21, would still be eligible for OA as a youth if they are registered as a Unit College Reserve member of a Troop. They would need to have the requisite number of camping nights. I would ask your local Lodge, just to be sure, since they would likely not be able to be elected by the active members of the Troop. Interesting question...
  2. Participation is already a requirement for the lower ranks, and holding a POR for the upper ranks would by necessity require participation. This seems, to me anyway, either a way to increase participation in program that the Scouts aren't thrilled with, or a way for a SM to minimize the time he spends working with his Scouts. In either case, it is adding to the requirements for rank advancement, and a de facto denial of a SM conference. Both are putting roadblocks in place that ought not be there.
  3. Sorry to disagree with you on this Q. This SM is adding a hurdle. I am all for respecting people's time, and just as an aside I do NOT live in the same town as the Troop. I am 2 towns away, which adds some time to every appointment I make. In my mind, it is part of the servant leadership that I happily give to the Scouts in the Troop. It is much the same as your story about walking to the SM's house on a Saturday. If it works out that a Scout and I can sit in a campsite and have a chat, cool. But to insist that it can ONLY be done there is just wrong. This SM needs to ask his ASMs to help out if his schedule is that tight.
  4. Since our SPL runs the Troop meetings, I always have time to meet with Scouts before, during or after every meeting. I am also more than happy to go to their home or have them come to mine whenever is mutually convenient. My job is to make sure that Scouts who want to advance, have every opportunity to do so, without adding a single roadblock to the process. In my opinion, this Scoutmaster is adding hoops to jump through. Is attendance at camping trips an issue Troop-wide? If so, the answer is to figure out why, not force attendance by tying advancement to it.
  5. AVTech

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    Here is what we use as a guide: Den Chief duties: • Serve as the activities assistant at Den meetings • Communicate regularly with the Pack Leaders to review the Den and Pack meeting plans • If serving as a Webelos Den Chief, prepare boys to join Boy Scouting • Project a positive image of Boy Scouting • Know the purposes of Cub Scouting • Encourage Cub Scouts to join a Boy Scout Troop upon graduation • Help out at monthly Pack meetings • Attends at least 2/3 of the den meetings/events during his service period • Be a friend to the boys in the den • Participate in Troop outings. Attendance requirement 75% • Attend Troop meetings. Attendance requirement 75% • Set a good example • Wear the Class A uniform correctly to all regular Troop meetings and other events • Wear the Class B uniform to all outings and other Troop activities • Live by the Scout Oath and Law • Show Scout Spirit
  6. Family camping is part of the Cub Scout program, but nowhere in the new program have I seen that a Troop will offer that as a regular feature of its program. Just for the record, I will be stepping sideways from my current role as Scoutmaster of my son's Troop to be Scoutmaster of a linked girl's Troop (I have a 13 year old daughter who really wants to be an Eagle Scout like her brother, who just had his EBoR last week). I have absolutely no intention of presenting the girls with a program that is less than the Patrol Method program that the boys have been running. I have a couple of helicopter and bulldozer parents in the Troop right now. They hold no sway over how the Troop operates, despite the occasional barrage of whiny emails. They may be able to cow the staff and administration of our local schools, but I refuse to bend to their will. I know that as soon as I start making an exception for any Scout (unless there is a medical necessity), I will have to continue to make exceptions for everyone. Rank advancement happens in Patrols. Parents are NOT members of any Scout's Patrol, period.
  7. That is unfortunate. I have never caved to any of these odd requests. I simply tell the parents that we lose relatively few Scouts on camping trips, no matter what conditions might exist, and that the odds are good that their kid will return in one piece. We had 15 Scouts crossover to our Troop this spring. I have one who was on the fence about continuing, and he has vanished. I have another who looks like is getting a lot of pushback from his parents about doing anything. Of the 14 that remain, he was the only one who didn't go to camp this summer, so he is already falling behind his peers. I'm really annoyed with the dad, but trying to be diplomatic, when I really want to give him a good shake. The kids are easy comapred to some of the "adults"...
  8. How does a Scout advance without camping with his Patrol? In our Troop, this particular issue has never come up. We have parents who don't let their Scout go on very many trips, for a variety of whirlybird-related issues. These Scouts often (unfortunately) remove themselves from the program because they only get to come to meetings where they are planning all the really fun stuff that they won't get to do, and they also don't advance because they aren't fully participating in Scouting.
  9. AVTech

    What do you want the District to do for you?

    RT needs to rotate days. Our District RT is the same night as our Troop meetings. That makes it hard, unless BSA has some new cloning technology that I don't know about. Unit leaders need more face time with the DE and other District officers. I have met our DE once, at an annual meeting that our Council's camp holds to distribute their new (mostly recycled) camp guide to all the units. I asked him questions that required follow up, and have heard nothing back, despite emails and phone messages being left. Someone in the District needs to "own" a web page (or pages) that are easily found through the Council website, and make sure it is kept up to date. That person needs to talk to all of the other District leaders to make sure that the Units have access to as much information, as soon as it is available. If this doesn't happen, District events will never be as successful as they might be. Easy to answer general questions can be answered there, and all the resources available to Units form their District officials can be spelled out.
  10. AVTech

    Yet another Palms question

    NJ is correct- he would get three silver and one bronze at the time of his ECoH, to reflect the Merit Badge count as of the date of his EBoR. Then, for every 5 additional Merit Badges and 3 months of service, he would be eligible for an additional Palm. Your CC is incorrect about there being any limit except for a Scout's 18th birthday.
  11. AVTech

    Scoutmaster Payment

    Last summer, I got a handwritten thank you card from a 12 year old Scout. He thanked me for taking a week off of work to be at summer camp with him and the rest of the boys in the Troop. It's the little things, right?
  12. AVTech

    Challenging Scout and his dad

    At least 50% of the paper we hand out at Troop meetings never leaves the meeting hall, and some percentage of that becomes dryer lint.
  13. AVTech

    Challenging Scout and his dad

    Here is how we try to head off these situations (as much as we can): Every September, we ask the parents to fill out a new Emergency Contact form. This allows us to keep up to date with new phone numbers and email addresses (including that of our Scouts- the town has an iPad based curriculum from grade 6 on, so we know that every Scout has a school email address at the very least). The back side of the form asks for any information about the Scout that we need to know about, from allergies and medications to learning disabilities, phobias, or any other emotional or social concerns- things that aren't generally listed on the Medical Form. We had a Scout a couple of years back who was just horrible to deal with. He wouldn't listen to anyone, was disruptive and openly disrespectful during meetings, was mean to other Scouts, etc. During a week at summer camp, his dad was coming down to help us out with adult coverage. I ran into him near the entrance to the camp and stopped him to chat before he brought his gear to our campsite. When I related the events that had already transpired already during the earlier part of the week, he told me that his son was on the Autism Spectrum, and that he thought that his wife had told me (she hadn't). So much of his behavior made sense after that, and that knowledge would have completely changed my relationship with the Scout. After that conversation, the CC and I decided that we needed to keep that lack of knowledge from happening again, if we could help it, and the new form was born. I hate to add paperwork, but this can be crucial for the success of the Scout in the program. As for your SPL/ASPL being tied up with 5 new Scouts, that is the job of a Troop Guide. We added 16 new Scouts in our Troop this Spring. We have 2 full New Scout Patrols, each with a Troop Guide. The SPL/ASPL have other things they are responsible for besides the advancement of the new guys. The current SPL and the 2 TGs have been leveraging a large group of 11th grade Scouts to each take a couple of the new guys under their wing to go over Scout requirements, then work on T-2-1 skills. Then the new Scouts sit with a TG, ASPL or the SPL to get their requirements signed off. It is pretty efficient, and each week, the Scouts sit with a different older Scout, so they are all getting face time with each other. Everyone gets to know each others names, and the Troop is gelling really nicely right now. Good luck with this father and son. Follow the Oath and Law. Be patient.
  14. Our Troop started an Adult 101 series. We started with some basics that our current SPL (my son, as it happens) felt that every Scout should know, but are not necessarily covered in any Rank requirements or Merit Badges. He actually taught every Scout in the Troop how to sew on a button and repair a tear (works for tents, clothing, socks, etc.). Most of the parents of our Scouts don't know how to sew. But I think you are on to something with how to run a meeting, and how to be a participant. Time management topics are always good, essential skills that translate to every corner of a Scout's life. I plead with parents (more than Scouts, since they tend to be more tech savvy) to please sync the Troop calendar from our website to their phones. Other topics yet to be covered include ironing a shirt, balancing a checkbook, and even how to write a letter and address an envelope (don't ask about what I have seen- it will chill you to the bone).
  15. AVTech

    Virtual Dutch oven contest

    During our last few trips, I have tried the following in Dutch Ovens: Meatloaf (my wife's secret recipe) Jambalaya Lasagna A Modified American Chop Suey (less sauce, more cheese) A breakfast casserole (eggs, ham, cheese, breadcrumbs) A simple cobbler/dump cake hybrid- pie filling, cake mix and a can of soda I have recipes to share if anyone is interested