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Everything posted by FireStone

  1. Even at the most basic level of participating in the BoR, it seems the scout did not fulfill that requirement. The content, tone, or delivery of the questions almost doesn't matter. If there was basically no participation by the scout, regardless of how the board felt about his responses he really did not "complete" a BoR. The requirement doesn't say "show up and sit there". It says "successfully complete" a BoR. Even just saying "I'm sorry, I'm a bit nervous," is more useful to a board and can at least initiate a conversation or allow the board to adjust their questions to make
  2. The faith component is weird lately. I get parents coming to me saying they want nothing to do with it, which I then have to kind redirect to say, "Well we have a reverence requirement but your family can choose to approach that however you see fit, just let me know when you and your scout have completed it..." And then I have parents who want to do a group prayer at every meeting, and they're not really interested in a prayer that isn't specifically Christian. Meanwhile the BSA seems to give us very little in the way of guidance on this other than that note in the Cub handbooks sayi
  3. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but removing a scout without a reason specific to that scout (behavior, bullying, dangerous actions, etc), is probably not something that a CC can do. They can ask a leader to step down, or eventually remove a leader, but removing a scout without cause seems like a stretch of the CC's authority. At least not without the COR rep being the one to say the scout has to go.
  4. It wasn't a murder but that doesn't mean that nothing criminal took place. Negligence can be criminal. It doesn't sound like anything criminal happened, but any further investigation would hopefully confirm the police findings of an accidental discharge.
  5. I think it's a problem, but not the problem in and of itself. It's more a combo of things. He's unhappy with the greater personal responsibility he has in a troop vs. a pack where advancement is almost automatic, you just have to show up and do what you're asked. He also is indicating that he is in scouts because of me, but I know he also has a lot of fun on some of the trips and had an absolute blast at summer camp. So I'm trying to decipher if he feels maybe I got him into this and he's still doing it because of me or if he's doing it because he enjoys it or not.
  6. I think he feels like he would be considered a "snitch" if he speaks up. Especially when dealing with kids that are a few years older than him. I also highly doubt the adult leaders know anything about any of this going on to even be able to try and deal with it. The troop is very much scout-led, which is great, but it also means the adults stay as far away from the scouts as they can, camping in separate areas and unlikely to even know when some tent flipping or bad language is going on. I'm torn between wanting to step in and mention this to the adults vs. trying to give him space
  7. I'm pretty impressed he was this articulate about it , being a kid that just turned 12 a week ago. I had a few times in my teens when I wanted to quit and I never had a good reason. Usually something like "it's stupid" or "I look like a dork in the uniform". I never had a good reason, but I think I wanted to be too cool for scouts. Which kind of get to me more in this situation because he has real reasons to not want to continue. Not just angsty pre-teen/teenager stuff. If I make any kind of deal with him about it, I think I'd like it to be that he completes a full year before making
  8. I'm not going anywhere, I'm a Den Leader for a Wolf den. And if my daughter sticks with it through Arrow of Light I might be a Troop Founder and SM in a few years, as it doesn't look like anyone else in my town is going to start a girls troop.
  9. I think he's being honest enough with me to know that it could be a social issue, but I'm not seeing that as the main issue at this point. He mentioned that on the last camping trip some younger scouts were messed with a bit. Nothing terrible, just some older scouts shaking the tents late at night, although one tent with some first-year scouts inside was flipped over. My son didn't seem too bothered by it, but it's something I will want to ask him about again. He also was kind of shocked by a couple of scouts who used some particularly bad language often. I don't doubt that kind of stuff
  10. My son joined a troop in March at crossover from a Pack where he started as a Tiger. He went to summer camp in July, had a blast, didn't finish any merit badges but did the First Year Camper program. That 90 minute car ride home when I picked him up was 90 full minutes of him talking about the week at camp and how much fun he had. I thought he was hooked. He did the usual stuff since, went weekend camping, helped at a service project, went on a couple of local hikes, attends the weekly meetings, etc. He told me over the weekend that he wants to quit. He doesn't like camping (he
  11. A simple Swiss Army Knife works well for Bears. But just keep in mind that when your scout crosses over to a troop, they will likely want a different knife. SAKs are less popular with older scouts, and when that first-year Scout sees the older scouts with single-blade locking knives, that's what they will be asking for. Get something simple to cover the Bear/Webelos years, and then be ready to replace it once they join a Troop. Also if you happen to have an heirloom knife that was maybe yours or your dad's that you want to pass down to your scout, save it until they are older. I held
  12. Lions was a good idea in theory, but in practice it isn't working. Nor did I really expect it to. I had my daughter skip it and join as a Tiger, which sometimes I think might even still be too young for kids to start in scouts. Lions is super repetitive with other rank requirements. I have already heard from scouts who joined as tigers saying things like "We did this already," for the stuff that is already repetitive among the Tiger-through-AOL ranks. Lions just adds yet another year of repeated material. Lions parents end up feeling like they are getting a somewhat limited program b
  13. Why is anyone upset about this now? There have been video game columns/articles in Scout Life for years, we have merit badges for game design, digital technology, programming, robotics. Bryan on Scouting blogged about video game tournaments for scouts more than a year ago. This is already here and has been for a while. I don't view tech as antithetical to the spirit of scouting. And devices aren't going away, they are a part of everyday life and I think we need to adapt to using them in a scouting setting.
  14. There is a range of price points for various activities, and numerous variables. Location, fundraising, included items (some units give neckerchiefs and handbooks to scouts as part of their dues), etc., all factor in. But all of that considered, I think it's still fair to say that Cub Scouts is at least within that range of average cost relative to any other activity. Personally (and locally) I'd argue that scouting here is cheaper than sports. But to not over generalize, I could amend that to say Cub Scouts locally is no more expensive that most youth sports, and taking into consideratio
  15. Parents tell me that, but I personally don't see it because Cub Scouts is year-long. $150 annual dues plus trip/activities fees of maybe $100 for the year (our Pack keeps trip fees to $15 or less per family) and let's say $50 in other incidental purchases, I'm looking at $300 for a whole year. My daughter plays soccer and it's over $200 for a season, just a few months. Cub Scouts on a seasonal/quarterly basis would be $50. Even if I throw in the $250 summer camp cost, it's $550 per year, $125 per quarter/season. Sure, $550 is a big chunk of change. But spread out over a yea
  16. I'm not sure when it happened but I just realized today that a Cub Scout neckerchief slide is $8. And because they're rank-specific, they only last 1 year (or less when they go flying off a scout's neckerchief as the kids sprint around the Pack meeting room). I advise new families to buy the Scouts BSA neckerchief slide. It's not Cub Scout uniform code to do so, but whatever. $8 / year for neckerchief slides is ridiculous. Our Pack decided to create a non-rank-specific neckerchief, costs families $10 each and are really nice, with a big embroidered Pack patch on the back, and they la
  17. The article is weird. Not sure why they suggest NY units go to West Virginia or Ohio instead, when there are plenty of good camps in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with good shooting sports programs. I'm also not even convinces that the new law will actually shut down shooting sports programs in NY camps. It's unclear from this "article" what exactly the law would do to scout camps in this regard.
  18. I think it will still be there. I've been hearing predictions about this all going away for longer than my son as been on this planet and he's a Tenderfoot now. If some of those predictions were right he would have never even worn the uniform. Even if some of those things to do go away, I disagree that it diminishes anything. Lots of Eagles (myself included) never went to a Jamboree, Philmont, etc., or even went to anything outside of our home tristate area. Doesn't mean the rank means any less to me. Different troops have different cultures when it comes to high adventure, big trips, and
  19. Privately-owned rifles were found at the camp, although no info is available on whether one of those rifles was involved in the accident. The camp policy prohibits outside firearms being brought in to camp. So at a minimum, standard camp firearms policies were not being followed.
  20. My kids' cars make made me cringe at the designs and paint schemes they did. 😅 But they are their cars, so that's how it goes. The BSA isn't doing us any favors when it comes to all of the fancy stuff kids (and parents) want to add to cars, selling all of the upgrade kits, lights, sirens, etc. They know that most scouts can't install those things themselves, and parents will have to do it. And it just further reinforces the notion that parents should take on a major role in car building. When in reality it should be the opposite, kids lead the build, parents just help as needed and make s
  21. Seems like scouts and scouters are redefining BSA uniforming on their own by adopting personal standards than then sort of become accepted unofficial regulations. Or eventually become official. I think the friendship knot is one of those things that was being done with neckerchiefs and then the BSA eventually made it an official option for neckerchief wear. Personally I kind of like some personal touches on uniforms, even if they are out of step with official regs. But of course that's a slippery slope. If you can move the line, you can get rid of the line eventually, too. I guess I'
  22. Personally I like the dining hall experience and the break from patrol cooking. Scouts do patrol cooking all year long, summer camp is a break from the routine.
  23. That kind of trip sounds great. I just think it's worth pointing out, it's not what the OP was looking for. At least based on the info given. They wanted a MB camp experience, counselors, etc. They could work some MB offerings into a backpacking or canoe trip, but if the goal is to create a summer camp experience with a variety of MB offerings, more closely aligned to a typical council camp experience, then I still think that's hard to pull off at a cost savings. Would be helpful to hear from 5thGenTexan on what exactly the troop is looking for, and if a backpacking or canoe trip wou
  24. The OP was looking for an alternative to council camps but with the MBs. Without the MBs, sure, there are lots of ways to organize an alternative camp. But depending on what you might be looking for in terms of adventure, I'm not convinced that such a camp can be organized at much of a discount over council camps that already offer climbing, ropes courses, boating, mountain biking, ATVs, horseback riding, shooting sports, and other adventurous activities. And include food. What kind of an adventure trip do you think could be done for less?
  25. I think it would be an absolutely monumental task to try and replicate a summer camp experience offering even half of what most camps offer. Many camps offer over 40 merit badges, finding that many willing and able MBCs for a week and coordinating all of that alone would be tough to pull off. Summer camps offer a pretty thrifty experience for scouts. From Sunday through Saturday everyone gets 17 meals in total. That probably eats up 1/4 of the camper cost right there. Throw in staff, facilities, equipment, extra programs, health and safety resources, training opportunities, insurance, bik
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