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Everything posted by Treflienne

  1. Treflienne

    Patrol Identity, Then and Now...

    I leaned on my scouts a little here. I told them to pick a good patrol name, a name that meant something to them, a name that they would be happy to keep for a long time (years). I told them that they could design the artwork for their own patrol patch so that they could have a good patrol patch. (I also made fun of some of the existing patrol patches available from Class B and elsewhere: the flaming nuclear biohazard something-or-others.) Then I watched to see what they would come up with. (They had had a couple of months to think over their patrol name before the decision time. Though some scouts had started thinking of patrol name ideas before the troop was formed.) They ended up (with no prodding by me) choosing a very traditional patrol name. They, collectively, came up with many reasons why it was a great name -- including that it was the name of one of the patrols of girls that showed up at the Crystal Palace boy scout rally in 1909.
  2. Treflienne

    Does Anyone Do Leathercraft With Girl Scouts

    Why not do the same projects you do with Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts the same age as the girls? Probably all of them are suitable. The one additional thing I can think of that some girls might like that boys wouldn't do is a small purse. So many girls' clothes have no pockets at all, or an almost useless pocket barely big enough for a kleenex. Size the purse about the size of a pocket, big enough to hold a phone or a wallet, interior size about 6" x 4". Make sure it closes securely (button or toggle?). And give it a strap long enough to wear diagonally across the body. Of course, if girls' clothing had decent pockets then such a thing would be unecessary. (Even the new BSA uniform pants for girls are somewhat skimpy on the pockets compared to the boys' uniform pants. They do have two cargo pockets, but they are tiny cargo pockets.)
  3. Treflienne

    Cell Phones at Summer Camp

    What do you think the camp does with the confiscated phones? Another Girl Scout camp, same council, has the same phone policy but words it a little more gently Which is more drastic? Which is more trouble for the parents who are paying for a week at camp? Having the camper's phone spend a few days locked in the camp office? Or requiring the parents to fetch a kid from camp, at short notice, and find alternative things for them to do the rest of that week?
  4. Treflienne

    Cell Phones at Summer Camp

    I'll switch to a Girl Scout camp example. The camp my daughter attended gave parents an information packet explaining the camp rules and policies. (And if you did not like them, you did not need to attend that camp.) The camp clearly told families that
  5. Treflienne

    BSA patrol method is lost in the fog

    That is an extreme understatment. Do you have "How Girls Can Help Their Country?" or "Scouting for Girls?" In October 2017, my daughter picked up a boy scout hand book from a few years ago, read it, and said "This is like what Girl Scouting used to be" -- and her point of reference for "what Girl Scouting used to be" was a late 20's handbook which was a slight revision of the original 1920 "Scouting for Girls". In other words "Scouting for Girls was (in my daughter's opinion) more like the recent Boy Scout handbooks that it was like the recent "Girls Guide to Girl Scouting".
  6. Treflienne

    BSA patrol method is lost in the fog

    What I saw with GSUSA was that starting the girls as "girl scouts" in kindergarten set the expectation that scouting would be a light & fluffy extra-curricular. The littlest kids did not do much because they could not do much. And by the time they got a little older, and could do more, their opinion/expectation (and for the new-to-girl-scouts families, the parents' expectation) of "Girl Scouts" had already been set. Not good.
  7. Treflienne

    BSA patrol method is lost in the fog

    I assume you are using "BASICALLY USELESS" as a relative term? Have you ever looked at the "Girls' Guide to Girl Scouting" which is the closest thing GSUSA currently has to a handbook?
  8. Treflienne

    Cell Phones at Summer Camp

    The leaders' guide, for the camp we will be attending, says I have been told, by those who have been to the camp previously, that the camp is strict about its phone policy. I am quite happy with that.
  9. Treflienne

    Bamboo scout staves?

    I took a few scout staves (the standard scout-shop kind) on a camping trip and the scouts had fun with them: used them to haul their gear, used them as poles for their dining fly, actually carried them hiking . . . Now at least one of the scouts is saying that we should give a scout staff to every new scout joining the troop. Thing is, those scout-shop staffs seems rather heavy. Has anyone tried using bamboo poles for scout staves (including using for dining fly poles)? They have the merit of being lightweight, inexpensive, and readily available: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MPXVSHO/
  10. I agree that they would probably get more out of the course if they were older. But my troop just elected a 13-year-old PL as the top youth leader in the one patrol troop (and she is, I think, the best choice they could have made) and she appointed a 13-year-old QM to help her who again I think was a good choice. From my troop's point of view, I would rather they get the NYLT training this summer, instead of waiting until next year. (And once 2020 rolls around they would have to be first class, and I am not encouraging a race to first class in a year.) Why do we not have older scouts in top leadership positions? Because the couple of 14-year-olds we have are terribly shy, and one is not fluent in English yet. Is this typically allowed? Is this encouraged? I would probably learn a lot if I could observe the course.
  11. Apparently there is a further change to age requirements as of 1 March. According to https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/resources/nylt/ This is very good news for my troop, as our top youth leaders are 13-year-olds.
  12. Treflienne

    A tale of two scouts

    I agree. It's not nearly so hard for her to say "Have you checked the duty roster?" as it is for her to say "Please do X". If the other scouts are good-natured about helping when needed, but simply not paying attention to when they need to do something, the PL making and posting a duty roster that fairly distributes the jobs might help.
  13. Treflienne

    Adult led and youth led

    Not quite the question you are asking -- but one benefit to a kid of seeking out a troop is to find that patrol of kids with common interests -- if he hasn't already found one on his own.
  14. Treflienne

    How to increase usage of Patrol Method

    Our new troop, after a short initial term of office for its first PL, just held an election for the new PL to take over beginning of the summer. Any scout who wanted to could put her name in as a candidate (no minimum rank requirments or any such thing). Then the troop (a single patrol) voted on who they wanted. I in no way tried to influence their choice of which scout was appropriate for the job. (Though I did use a preceeding week's scoutmaster minute to emphasize the importance of servant leadership.) Interesting to me was that the scouts who put their names forward as candidates were all scouts that I felt would be good candidates. And the scouts elected the girl that I personally thought was most ready to be Patrol Leader. This is just to say that if you let the scouts vote for their own leaders, they may very well make an extremely sensible choice.
  15. Treflienne

    How to increase usage of Patrol Method

    The troop leader guidebook (p 37) talks about the regular monthly PLC meeting. Also about "Patrol Leaders' Council Huddles" before each meeting and a brief PLC meeting at the end of each troop meeting. Our small new one-patrol troop has been holding an all-interested-troop-members-invited "PLC" meeting once a month for the scouts to plan the upcoming activities. Typically about half the scouts in the troop (including the PL/APL) attend. We have not been having the brief PLC meeting at the end of each troop meeting. However I am starting to feel that something of the sort is needed -- that is, remote means of communication (email, phone) between troop meetings are not quite enough. So, in your experience, especially in your small-troop experience: do you do these post-troop-meeting huddles? Whose attendance is critical? Whose attendance is optional?
  16. So that is a 3-lead 4-bight turk's head in leather (with each strand doubled). https://www.scoutshop.org/wood-badge-woggle-neckerchief-slide-2173.html But would a different turk's head knot (say 4-lead 5-bight ) be okay for scouts? in leather? in paracord? only if it is a color that looks very different from brown leather?
  17. I've got a scout who would like to talk her troop-mates into making turks-head woggles (and custom square larger neckechiefs) once they have a chance to get around to the issue of neckerchiefs. Are there some restrictions on what is allowed for scouts? (Like no leather or brown-leather-look-paracord?)
  18. After hearing what meals the girls had planned for our first overnight, the other mom and I decided to ask if they would be willing to cook enough so that we adults could eat as their guests rather than us two cooking separately. (If we had cooked for ourselves, we would not have put in as much effort and would not have eaten as well.) Of course, a couple of our girls already had a good bit of camp cooking experience, and a number had cooking-at-home experience.
  19. I'm glad that BSA is not mixing genders, because that would take away the leverage to force the girls to do what they don't naturally like to do. I guess it's the same with boys, but I don't have as much experience there. Also, sometimes girls will be hesitant about trying things, because they don't have the confidence that they are good at them (because indeed they are not good at them yet). If there are no over-confident boys around to jump in and do it first, then the girls realize that they need to step up and try -- which give them a chance to develop competence and the confidence that comes with competence.
  20. Treflienne

    Webelos AOL & Crossover

    First off, the more traditional approach is by birthday -- though the age used to be 12, not 11. And the promoting-by-age is not an LDS-only exception. The brand new Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls says, on the inside front cover Our troop knows of one girl (not a cub scout) planning to join as soon as she turns 11. Oddly enough, her mother was not aware of the age-instead-of-AOL grounds for joining scouts, even though the girl has two brothers who have gone through cub scouts.
  21. Treflienne

    Pioneering Campout

    when/where did BSA say things like this? and does BSA still say something like this?
  22. Treflienne

    Pioneering Campout

    It's not quite pioneering, but might fit with a pioneering themed campout: scouts make their dining fly using four scout staves, a poly tarp borrowed from someone's garage, some spare tent stakes, and some rope. Good practise on lashing and knots. (Two scout staves are lashed together with sheer lashing to make the front pole, similar for rear pole.) https://scoutmastercg.com/philmont-dining-fly-tarp/ Also fitting with a pioneering theme: no propane. Only cook over wood.
  23. Not so hard: 3 camping overnights, 3 local day hikes, and four other things: (help with scout recruiting night? do ILST? help with the spring cleanup at the CO? one more? ) And while the girl reaching 1st class has to do all of them, its not required to pick a day when the entire troop can go. Get half or more of your patrol and two willing adults (different ones for different activities) and you are all set. One overnight and two other Saturday mornings per month.
  24. It's not as though they did not know what the requirements were in advance. They could have had a plan mapped out even before 1 Feb. Here on scouter forum, we've had discussions of highly motivated scouts making fast progress, and discussions of questionable (biased-in-favor-of-girls) judging at camporees. But how many of the new girls troops are simply more ordinary? At three months in (1 May) my troop reached the point where 50% of the scouts had attained Scout rank. None is a tenderfoot, yet.
  25. Treflienne

    Unapologetically Exploiting GSUSA's Achilles' Heels

    We will want the report: will they join en masse? What we have seen around here in GSUSA is a huge attrition somewhere around 4th/5th/6th grade. The majority of the kids quit scouting, and only a small fraction fold into the local "older girl" troop for grades 6-12, after the troop they have been with since kindergarten disbands. I don't know how much is because the current Cadette/Senior/Ambassador program is unappealing, and how much is that the girls become interested in other activities. So if you get even 4 or 5 of this troop joining Scouts BSA, that is a good yield. Make sure they know they have the option of staying together as a patrol within your Scouts BSA troop. (The friend-group issue can be very important).