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About AVTech

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    Junior Member

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    Metro Boston
  • Occupation
    AV Technician

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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
  8. AVTech

    Required Worksheets?

    We use Troopmaster to keep track of advancement. Our Advancement chair takes photos of Handbook pages with her phone after each BOR. I ask Scouts who are working on ranks up through First Class to see their books often, and take photos myself, then enter the info into Troopmaster. This allows me to report to the SPL what skills might need to be worked on during Troop meetings or on camping trips. He brings that info to the PLC so they can plan properly. BTW, in the 5 years I have been involved with this Troop, the only handbooks that are ever misplaced are just buried in messy bedrooms. Not one Scout has ever lost his book permanently. These worksheets, IMHO of course, are counterproductive if they are replacing conversations between Scouts and PLs and TGs, who should be doing the signing off of the requirements. It also seems like they may be replacing conversations between Scouts and SM/ASM. So this Troop isn't looking like a Scout run organization, and the opportunities for adult association, and the adult leaders really getting to know and appreciate these Scouts.
  9. AVTech

    NYLT for 13 year old

    Just playing Devil's Advocate... You don't know what you don't know. My son, who just turned 16 in December, took NYLT last summer. He came back with a whole new set of tools that have made him a superior SPL. He also has a new appreciation for what it takes to be a good leader, and he will tell you that it was the best thing he has done in Boy Scouts. The skills taught in NYLT might make you much better than fine.
  10. AVTech

    President Trump Eagle Letters

    Eagles in my Troop have gotten them, but they have been very late- well after Courts of Honor have come and gone.
  11. AVTech

    From National: Official Name

    I was specific about the Mission Statement: "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law."
  12. AVTech

    From National: Official Name

    My next move is easy. When we create our linked Troop, I will step down as SM of the boy Troop and become the SM of the new girl Troop. My wife (my kids' stepmother) just finished all the SM required training, and will be our first trained female ASM. I will provide the same leadership and opportunities for my 13-yo daughter and her peers that I have for my 16-yo son and his. I am not sure why everyone has their underthings in a twist about this. The mission statement of the BSA has always said YOUTH, without mentioning gender. Our flavor of Scouting should be available to any kid who wants to sign up. I have no intention of providing anything less than the same program to the girls that we have always provided to the boys. My daughter is frustrated with GSUSA, because unless the leaders want to do outdoor stuff, it doesn't happen. The GSUSA program may work for some, but its open-ended structure doesn't work for everyone. Its exclusivity is self-limiting, and their insistence that only women should be role models for the girls is short sighted. I get it that the powers that be haven't been as organized or open about these changes as they could have been or should have been. But to turn your back on the program because of a chromosome change is hardly Scoutlike. Just my opinion, of course...
  13. AVTech

    What's A Good Water Bottle?

    Nalgene has a lifetime guarantee. My son used one as a tent peg mallet and cracked the bottom. They replaced it. You just go to their website, fill out a form and upload a photo of your damaged item. That makes the cost easier to take. I prefer the OTF style. They may be a little smaller, but the one handed pop-top is easier to use on the trail. All that being said, if you want to keep water cold, HydroFlask is the way to go. I can put cold water in mine early in the morning at Summer Camp, and it is still cold in the evening (I had other bottles on my pack, this was sitting in my tent all day). They are not cheap though, so your $30 budget won't get you a decently sized one.
  14. AVTech

    Cyber Chip questions

    I do the same. Given my job and employer, I understand way more about this topic than the people at HQ ever could.
  15. AVTech

    Cyber Chip questions

    My opinion is that the whole CyberChip curriculum needs to be rewritten and designed to be a Unit-wide activity. There should be better videos (some of which I already show to my Troop anyway), and then a group discussion with topics led by a moderator (SPL). Something that is important enough that it is required for Rank Advancement needs to be crafted to be useful and more easily implemented.