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Everything posted by Treflienne

  1. Treflienne

    First New Troop Adult Meeting

    Our girls troop just went for a joint camping trip with our linked boys troop. (First joint trip, the girls troop has had several camping trips on its own.) This was a traditional annual event for the boys troop. All the cooking was done with propane. But the boys built a bonfire that had flames that must have been at least five feet high -- and burned much more wood than would have been needed to cook for the entire long weekend. In our part of the country at least, camping in camps with established fire rings and ample downed wood, we cannot blame LNT for the lack of campfire cooking.
  2. Treflienne

    First New Troop Adult Meeting

    The major differences in how BSA and GSUSA operate and do things is one of the reasons that some currently and/or formerly associated with GSUSA have now enrolled with BSA. If they were entirely happy with all the ways that GSUSA operates they would see no reason to join BSA. That being said, there are a couple of things from my GSUSA background that I would like to bring into the BSA troop I am affiliated with: 1) enthusiastic singing around the campfire 2) scouts developing real competence in campfire cooking Neither are, I think, opposed to BSA ways, simply out of fashion at the moment.
  3. Our troop is just starting to think about this. The girls have looked at some prototypes, and need to decide style and colors. It is really easy to take a square yard of fabric and put seam binding around it. (e.g. Wrights extra-wide double-fold bias tape ) Actually easier than simply hemming it. Makes a sharp looking necker. And you get any color combo you they want. Or cut the square yard into two triangles before binding the edges to make triangular neckers -- less functional but easier to roll tightly. Leather lacing 3mm wide can be made into a turks head woggle. Some of our girls like a 4-lead turks head -- and this is decidely different looking from the wood badge woggle.
  4. Treflienne

    Camp info packet

    What is a gateway? Maybe we should know before we go to camp?
  5. Treflienne

    First New Troop Adult Meeting

    We were told by the council that the girls could pick any number they wanted. They picked one. As we were turning in the charter paperwork we were told by the council that, actually, they had decided that all girl troops would have a number beginning in 7, that is, instead of being troop XY we would be troop 70XY. They did say we could still call ourselves XY, and wear XY on our uniforms, but it would be 70XY in the computer system. Fortunately, I figured out how to use the alternate unit description on the beascout pin, so that beascout now says XY for us. Scoutbook is still saying 70XY. (grrr.)
  6. Treflienne

    First New Troop Adult Meeting

    If someone can front the cost for a few Scouts BSA Handbooks for Girls, then you can have them on hand to hand out to any girl who fills in the application and pays the registration fee. Reading the handbook has been very motivational for some of my scouts.
  7. Treflienne

    First New Troop Adult Meeting

    I want the scouts to do as much as they can for themselves But also, with young and inexperienced scouts, I feel like the adults need to give them enough support that they can actually get out-of-doors and do something. (Because if scouting is not fun they will not stick with the program and benefit from it.) It is hard to know exactly how much support is the right amount of support, not too little, and not too much.
  8. Treflienne

    First New Troop Adult Meeting

    Do your scouts actually know that summer Council camp is an option? Sometimes we need to let them know what the possibilities are -- not to force them to do something, but to let them know that they could decide to do something.
  9. Treflienne

    First New Troop Adult Meeting

    Our small troop elected a PL rather than an SPL. Initial elections were right as the troop formed up and initial length of office was only three months -- which was a good thing. The girls didn't really know what the jobs were like or what they likely doing. By three months into the patrol's existance, it was much clearer what needed to be done and who would be a good patrol leader. I would not force them to quickly settle on the name and flag. Get them started thinking about it, even before the troop is chartered. But you want them to have time to pick a good name, and name with some meaning to them, a name that they will want to keep for years. Once they realize that they cannot reach Scout rank until they have a patrol name, that will motivate them to finish deciding.
  10. Treflienne

    First New Troop Adult Meeting

    We've been doing this. It's working well.
  11. Treflienne

    First New Troop Adult Meeting

    Why have the adults choose a troop number? Why not let the girls choose it? (Assuming the C.O. isn't set on matching numbers to existing units.)
  12. 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.
  13. 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.)
  14. 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?
  15. 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
  16. 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".
  17. 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.
  18. 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?
  19. 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.
  20. 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/
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.