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FireStone last won the day on June 29

FireStone had the most liked content!

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About FireStone

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    Eagle Scout & Den Leader

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  1. I've been asked to do a demo at a Pack meeting on how to stay comfortable overnight while camping. Tips and tricks for staying warm, being comfortable in the tent, etc. This is one of multiple "stations" at the Pack meeting, round-robin-style and I'll be working with small groups of 5-10 scouts at a time, mixed ranks/ I've done it before and gone through the usual basics, best-practices with a tent to stay dry, how to stay warm, and little tips like bring a pair of slip-on shoes/slippers for those middle-of-the-night bathroom trips so you don't have to lace up boots. My problem is that this is all very "Let me explain this to you" in format, and Scouts get antsy and lose interest. How can I make it more interactive or fun? Another Scouter suggested making it into a game somehow, but I'm at a loss for what kind of game you can make out of learning how to stay warm in your tent. Any ideas?
  2. Kind of a minor observation, but I sort of get a chuckle when I see US scouts and scouters so quickly switch from the tight neckerchief to the loose friendship knot style as soon as they get to jambo. And I wish they kept it that way when they got back home. I think we're a bit too tightened up when it comes to uniforms compared to many of our overseas friends in scouting.
  3. FireStone

    Bullying incident - need advice

    That's right. It's not just a scout not wanting to hang out with another scout. Bullying is intended to inflict emotional harm, or to make someone feel less-than or inadequate. So instead it would be something like a scout telling another scout that they don't belong in the troop, they should leave, "this troop is for xyz, not you," etc.
  4. FireStone

    Bullying incident - need advice

    We argued this over the recent bullying incident in our Pack, because the offending actions happened repeatedly throughout one Pack meeting, not over days/weeks/months. Some deemed it not "repeated" because it occurred during one day/event. I disagreed because the offending scout sought out the victim throughout the meeting, seeking to find her and harass her (on the basis of gender) repeatedly even when he had no reason to be around her (they were in separate groups for an activity). I guess "repetition" is certainly debatable, but context does indeed help to clarify it.
  5. FireStone

    Bullying incident - need advice

    YTP does give some helpful criteria for defining bullying. For good reason, deciding what bullying is should not be left up to unit leaders or parents. You would run into the exact problem I ran into, where some adults just chalk it up to "kids being kids". It's not as vague as would be expected from the BSA. Broadly, they define forms of bullying as: Verbal—name calling, teasing, threats Social—spreading rumors, leaving the target out of activities, breaking up or manipulating friendships Physical—hitting, pushing, shoving, physical coercion Group—intimidations, ostracizing Criminal—injury, assault, sexual aggression Cyberbullying—using digital technology such as social media, gaming, texting,etc.,for any of the above Within YPT, if I recall correctly they go into more detail.
  6. FireStone

    Bullying incident - need advice

    The BSA does provide some guidance, although some of the steps are kind of vague. They advise the following: Action Plan 1. Stop the abuse, bullying, or policy violation. 2. Protect the Scout/Youth 3. Summon assistance needed from other leaders, authorities etc 4. Take corrective action 5. Notify council Scout executive when warranted 6. Check back with the target youth to insure the problem behavior has stopped
  7. FireStone

    Bullying incident - need advice

    Bullying is a Youth Protection issue in the BSA and there are guidelines that leaders must follow when it is reported. As with all YP issues, leaders should take it extremely seriously. That said, it doesn't need to escalate to extreme discipline right away. Those guidelines start simple, with a talk. Sometimes that is all that is needed. The guidelines do suggest elevating the issue to a scouting professional at the district level if warranted. But before that, steps should be taken to stop the bullying and hopefully handle the matter within the troop to just put a stop to it. If those guidelines are not being followed, talk to someone else. But try to allow the process to play out in the troop first. I know this is a tough issue to deal with. Saying "bullying" throws up a lot of red flags and defenses as soon as it is said, especially since bullying falls under Youth Protection. I've flagged a bullying issue in my unit and it was met with a lot of resistance to even take any action. Many people don't even want to deal, they chalk it up to kids being kids and just goofing around. It's not. It's serious. And it should be pursued seriously by leadership.
  8. FireStone

    Jack Links Fundraiser Partnership with BSA

    My understanding is that we're not supposed to do this. We can't solicit donations, even when they come with a bag of popcorn. We accept donations when offered, but our Pack's resident legal/financial guru has really hammered us on never asking for money. We sell products to raise funds. I suspect that units doing meat sticks or other cheaper fundraisers see a lot more of the "keep the change" sales. I'd love to hear from anyone who has direct experience with this, how profitable cheaper items end up being in practice. The risk of cannibalizing higher-priced sales is for sure a risk. But I think an acceptable one. I really don't like the optics of our really expensive items. We're a community organization, and when we get repeated negative comments about the absurdly expensive popcorn we sell, I just wonder what the long-term effect is on how the community perceives us and if we're doing harm to the BSA brand. Popcorn doesn't raise all of the required funds for some units, additional fundraisers are sometimes needed. We do a spring fundraiser, selling yard flags. The appeal is that we can tow the line with our Council and do popcorn, but then really make a bunch of money to find Pack activities and expenses with our spring fundraiser, which is far more profitable per sale than popcorn, is easier to sell, and requires less time from scouts and families to participate in. Parents do hate fundraising, but we haven't found a way to get them all on board with hitting our financial goals so we have no choice but to ask them to do more.
  9. When they grant official licenses to companies like ClassB.com to make and sell BSA-branded goods, that message is getting a little muddy. They decide who to give a license to, and when they allow a company with a name that contradicts brand messaging to have a license, I'm thinking they're not really that serious about that policy.
  10. FireStone

    Council denies unit fundraiser

    We're supposed to get Council approval for fundraisers? 😁 We didn't get approval for our spring fundraiser, we just did it.
  11. FireStone

    Guidance on Discipline

    I'm a little confused on how the report of drug possession was basically blown off and ignored. Or was there more to it? unless I'm reading this wrong, he told other scouts he had weed, it was reported to the SM, and... nothing happened? He possibly had drugs at a scouting event, in camp, and was allowed to stay without consequence. What am I missing here?
  12. FireStone

    Eagle Scout Shown Leniency

    There's a weird thing going on in our justice system lately. This all reminds me of the case of that college kid who was given a 6-month sentence for rape because of his student athlete status and the judge's belief that he's not a danger to anyone. The idea that judges are now passing sentences based on some sort of personal belief of future life potential rather than the facts of the case is disturbing. Especially when the facts of the case, such as this Eagle Scout case, seem to suggest otherwise. The kid not only bragged about the assault but he seemed to be proud of it, based on the text messages he sent to friends afterwards. Scary behavior, certainly not anything that would make me think he'll live out the rest of his life crime-free. It says something very "Minority Report"-esque that our legal system takes into account the subjective views of judges who think they have some crystal ball to see the potential future of the accused and judge current cases based on those views.
  13. FireStone

    How realistic is it for a Cub Scout to earn everything?

    My Wolf den this past year completed 10 adventures, out of the 19 available. We met for den meetings once per month and asked scouts to complete some requirements at home in between meetings. Usually just one or two requirements, or one project for the relevant adventure. With a pretty light meeting schedule we knocked off half of the belt loops. I have no doubt that doing all 19 is entirely feasible, and honestly not all that difficult. I've heard leaders say that a den would have to meet weekly to do all of the adventures in the book, but I don't believe that to be true. On top of the 10 we completed as a den, some scouts did additional adventures on their own with parents, some as many as 3 additional adventures. So again, with a pretty light schedule, we have scouts who completed as many as 13 adventures out of 19.
  14. FireStone

    Pinewood Derby World Championship

    Yeah, but we're not going to change to a night event. Think I might test clipping a blacklight over the track. Or just put one over the "on deck" area where the cars are set up pre-race.
  15. FireStone

    Pinewood Derby World Championship

    Here's a shot of the tracks. One of the things I've been trying to figure out for our next Pack derby is how to get black lights set up along our track. We run our derby in a school gym with lots of windows, so I'm not sure it's possible at a day-time event. Been wondering if a couple of black light tubes on each side of the track would work. Now that my Pack is allowing those black-light-sensitive wheels, it would be fun to get them glowing for the races.