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About AVTech

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    Metro Boston
  • Occupation
    AV Technician
  1. Storage ideas

    We are fortunate that our CO has a mostly unused basement. We keep all of our gear in a caged area. Our Klondike sleds and a few other large items are outside the cage. We store our trailer in the parking lot of an industrial building owned by a local electrician. We have a designated parking spot next to a small dog park, so there is a lot of coming and going, which makes that lot a relatively safe location. You might want to see if you can find a similar local business that has space for you to locate a shed.
  2. I don't understand why anyone has to drone on about upcoming events. Does the Troop not have a website with a calendar? Does leadership not send out reminder emails? I spend more time writing and sending emails to the parents as a backup to the SPL's weekly announcements than I do on most other Scouting business. We use a website from SOAR that sends out a weekly eBlast to all Scouts and their parents. It has all of the events that are open for registration- they can register and pay for all trips online too. They can also (and this is HUGE) sync the Troop calendar to their phones or even Outlook or Google calendar, so no one has to waste time reminding them about every little thing at these few events- for some parents CoH are the only time we ever see them. As for FOS- I told my DE a long time ago (back when I was a Cubmaster) that coming to any Unit event looking for handouts from the families that already support them is barking up the wrong tree. They need to go knock on the doors of businesses that have deeper pockets, a much better return on their investment in time. I also told them that the presentations were awful and boring, and an unwelcome distraction from the purpose of the gatherings that they asked to be added to. That was the end of any FOS presentations at our events.
  3. Teaching Orienteering

    Wasn't joking. Do the basic instructions inside, then everyone grabs their headlamps and heads out to do a course.
  4. Teaching Orienteering

    Headlamps make so many activities much more fun...
  5. My take on this has always been that no matter what the intent of the folks in Irving might have been, they will not get the volunteer base that would be required to run separate Troops in most communities. The more opinions I see, and the more I think about how the heck they plan to roll this out, the more I am convinced that we will see separate Patrols in mixed Troops. The other thing that no one seems to be able to answer is when they plan to roll this all out. The issue with no clear dates as of yet is this: Let's say, a 10 year old girl joins a Cub Scout Pack on January 15th as part of the early adopter push. She earns her Bobcat in the first week, and starts working on the requirements for Arrow of Light. Without pushing her hard, she is eligible to earn her AoL on July 15th- 6 months later, as per the Cub Requirements. What does she do after that? If the current timeline is gospel, she has to wait until sometime in 2019 to join a Troop. I see another early adopter program for Troops available over the summer. As the father of a really bored 13 year old Girl Scout, I am actually okay with having a coed Troop, and with starting the coed program for the 2018-2019 school year. I have the backing of my CO to run whatever program I think will best serve the local community. I have the support of most of our Troop Committee. I also have a wife who has already taken the online SM training and is scheduled to take IOLS this spring so that we have one trained female direct contact leader before we even start.
  6. Why Can't Adults Trust the Scouts

    Barry- No, failure is an appropriate term. Scouting is supposed to be an experiment for the Scouts, a safe place in which they can test themselves. How else do they learn? It used to be that much of youth was a laboratory. We did stuff, lots of it undoubtedly unsafe and probably outlawed now, and we learned what worked and what didn't. Occasionally those lessons were accompanied by some injury. Broken bones generally heal, and eyebrows DO grow back... In the new childproof reality, that experimentation doesn't happen very often. As an aside, I used to work at a small private college. The school president always addressed the parents of the incoming Freshman class at the beginning of orientation. He started his speech like this: Your children will, at some point, fail at something, often spectacularly. This, in my opinion, is the best place in the world for them to do so. I feel the same way about Scouting.
  7. Why Can't Adults Trust the Scouts

    Just out of curiosity, is this ASM trained? When I took my SM classroom training (and I highly recommend this over the online version if it is at all possible), the SM in charge of the sessions told us that rule one is to take a step back. He said that it is the hardest thing to do, but easily the most valuable in being an adult leader in a properly run Troop. He is correct, and any time I happen to cross paths with him in the 5 years since I took that class, I thank him again for everything he did to make me the SM I am now. As an aside, this is one of the few reasons that we have Troop bylaws. No one is allowed to be an ASM or SM in our Troop unless they can wear the TRAINED patch for those positions. I know that the prevailing wisdom here is that bylaws are a bad thing. This is one of the few exceptions, IMHO.
  8. Why Can't Adults Trust the Scouts

    Getting back to the subject at hand. Which part of boy-led is this ASM not getting? If the Troop needs new tents, the Scouts should figure out what the proper tents are and then report back to the purchasing authority. If they need some direction on research, there are many online sources of information, or they could visit a large outdoor retailer (the equipment guys at REI really seem to know their stuff). If they are given some hints, they are less likely to fail at this. If they do fail, they will learn something along the way. Isn't that part of the point of Scouting?
  9. Pack YP equal or double standard

    Equal is different than fair. I have 2 kids- a son and a daughter. I try to treat them fairly. To treat them equally would be a disservice to both of them, as their needs are individual- based on gender, age and interests, just as a start. The same thing goes for the Scouts in my Troop. They all get fair treatment, as they should. But the SPL doesn't have the same needs as a Scout who has just crossed over from Cub Scouts. Not sure why anyone is having such a hard time grasping the concept. As far as YPT goes, my opinion is that any new YPT will be a combination of the current (and horribly done) YPT course and the Venturing YPT (which is much better put together). I think that requiring coed leadership in a coed setting should be the standard. But, the double standard, as set forth in the materials released, is certainly more focused on CYA. This shouldn't be news to anyone, regardless of the recent climate in gender relations.
  10. Family Scouting

    Our Troop has NEVER offered any family camping trips, nor are we planning to. I doubt that it will ever be an issue for the families of our Scouts. That being said, we are definitely planning to offer whatever program materializes for girls.
  11. Family Scouting

    Since there is no program documentation yet, how are families being welcomed into your Troop? How does the inclusion of families make a Troop not Boy Led? The Scouts should still come up with their calendar, and the inclusion of families should be designed to not interfere with the existing program. Have it run like a separate patrol- the family campsite should be separate from any of the other patrols, and if there are activities planned that are not appropriate for the families, they have to find an alternate activity during that time. The existing Scouting program should not be adversely affected by the inclusion of families. Alternatively, there can be a separate calendar of events for families. Individual Scouts can attend those if they wish, or not.