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Treflienne

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Posts posted by Treflienne


  1. Imaginary conversation between two girl scout parents:

    Mom A:   My daughter is doing a week of scout camp this summer.

    Mom B:  Is she doing day camp or overnight camp?

    Mom A:  She'll be doing overnight camp.   It will be the first time she's been away from family for a whole week.

    • Haha 1

  2. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:
      Quote

    “The highest I could get in Girl Scouts was in first class because that’s all I had and as soon as I left high school nobody cared. ...” Judi Polson of Now New York City said.

    That's because BSA was an innovator back around 1911, and added extra badges (Life Scout, Star Scout, Eagle Scout) that were innovations not in Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys.    The GSUSA did not add these extras.     Not sure when "First Class" when from being a "rank" to being an "award" in GSUSA.  But  by the time I was the appropriate age, it was the highest award in GSUSA.    It was definitely annoying how little those boy scouts at the time were aware of the girl scout program -- I definitely got reaction from boy scouts  "You've ONLY reached first class?".    Of course,  changing the name of the highest award to "Gold Award" didn't actually help when it came to recognition value.


  3.  

    11 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    Scouting is really about the youth experience.  When I was a kid, I knew councils & national existed - but they were irrelevant to me.  

     

    11 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    council & national.  Don't let your frustration with them get in the way of what's important. 

    Let's say you really have a kid who wants to do scouting,  and you think scouting is valuable, "Scouting" as in the whole broad Scout Movement.   Choice comes down to do we quit scouting entirely?  (I hope not)  or do we see which scouting organization will best help us provide a good scouting experience for the youth?   Depending on where you are,  and who, locally, is involved with what scouting organization, it might be:  the Hungarian scouts  (there are some around here),  BPSA,  AHG,  GSUSA, BSA, Trail Life, Campfire, . . .

     

    • Like 2

  4. "Where would you go?"

    I actually thought about this a good bit,  pre-2017, in relation to where would I go if I left GSUSA.    And I read about BPSA and AHG.   These organizations had, in my mind, two or three very very big drawbacks. 

    (1)  lack of good camps in the vicinity of where I live -- this area is rather built up and the scouts (both BSA and GSUSA) have owned properties for years which have remained relatively undeveloped and available for nearby camping, while suburbia has swallowed up a lot of land. 

    (2) lack of existing units in the area.    While the program material and/or the fees might be appealing,  the lack of infrastructure  (not just camps, but also nearby units for mentoring purposes, for interaction,  for a summer camp program) seemed like a problem.  

    (3)  AHG also lacked the international scouting connection.   

    I decided that the best option was to stay put with GSUSA.   Then in 2017 BSA announced it would be admitting girls, and my daughter starting reading a BSA handbook . . . .

    • Upvote 2

  5. 5 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

    many steps blend into each other.

    Absolutely.   We did what we could, when we could.   Some things we had to wait on that were beyond our control  - for example, one potential CO was not be able to consider the idea of taking on a new troop until after they had completed a change of institutional head.     So we did what we could, when we could,  while hoping that the other things would eventually work out.   For much of 2018  we did not know whether we would really get a troop up and running.

    • Upvote 1

  6. 1 minute ago, Calion said:

    a linked troop, but the chartered organization insisted that the girl troop have its own committee.

    We, and the troop we were linking with,  assumed that the boys troop and the girls troop would have the same committee.  When it came time to turn in the paperwork we learned from the council that the committee members of the boys troop would only be committee members of the girls troop if they turned in an additional paper form.  The COR, CC, and a few boys troop committee members did so.  So now we have some people on both committees, some offficially only on the boys committee, and some officially only on the girls committee.  (It is a bit of a mess.)   The whole committtee meets all together.  I suppose if there were ever a contentious vote, it would matter who was registered on which committee.    As it is,  some people are more focussed on the boys,  some more on the girls, and some foccussed on both.


  7. 2 minutes ago, Calion said:

    Do you think that that worked well for you?

    Well,  . . . we got a troop started February 1st, and the girls could start being scouts. (Highly important to the girls who were eager to start.)   From that point of view it was successful.

    3 minutes ago, Calion said:

    As it is, I feel that I'm always one step behind.

    I felt like that all spring and summer.   I'm just about feeling like we have caught up.  

    I'm not really sure how we could have done it in a different order.   To recruit adults to work with the troop,  we first needed to recruit their daughters to want to be scouts.

    A non-linked troop might have been a very different situation.   But we were hoping to link with one of several boy scout troops in our school district.   So while we (and by "we" I mean the interested girls families) were busy recruiting more girls (and their families), we were also talking with existing boy scout troops about the possibility of helping us get started.

     


  8. 4 hours ago, Calion said:

    It’s finally time to recruit some youth members! The best way is to have a sign-up event.

    Nope.

    The best way is for the already enthusiatic scouts (or scouts-to-be) to invite their friends and sisters.   We started with 2 interested girls.  Six more joined because they were invited by friends (the orginal two or scouts recuited by the original two).  Three found us via the web (beascout or our own website).  Two girls found us because the local boys' troop advertised among their families.

    We took part in two scouts/cubs recruiting sign-up events.  ZERO SCOUTS found us through sign-up events.

    • Upvote 1

  9. @Calion,   we did it in a completely different order.     Your points, ordered roughly as we did them, were:

    1 Decide what kind of unit you want to start.  This was easy. My daughter wanted a Scouts BSA troop she could join

    9 Train the adult leaders. I, at least, did IOLS nearly a year before launch date

    13 Recruit Scouts. The really essential item for getting a new troop started was a critical mass of scouts. Recruiting started around a year before launch date, with a couple of highly interested families and ramped up about 3-4 months before launch date.

    15 Have your first troop meeting. Well, not really a troop meeting, a gathering of interested girls and parents

    Finally at a organizational meeting only a few weeks before launch date the decision was made which Boy Scout troop to link with, this gave us: 2 Find a chartering organization.   3 Appoint a Chartered Organization Representative.   4 Appoint a Committee Chair. (and also gave us help from the boys' troop committee members)

    At the same organizational meeting a few weeks before launch date, various parents volunteered to work with the troop, as SM, ASMs and a committee member, which gave us  8 Select and recruit adult leaders.

    These newly recruited adults then did   10 Complete Youth Protection Training.   9 Train the adult leaders. (the ones not previously trained)

    Then we did 14 File the paperwork   15 Have your first troop meeting. (The official one)

    Within the first couple of months after chartering:  21 Have fun! -- That is, start camping   18 Get the Scouts trained. -- did IOLS  19 Set the Scouts loose.

    About seven months after chartering: 12 Establish an online presence.  18 Get the Scouts trained. -- sent scouts to NYLT

    Starting about nine months after chartering:  17 Raise money.

    Still are working on  7 Train the Troop Committee.   6 Recruit a Troop Committee. -- we are a linked troop, and are getting help from the boys troop, but we are working on adding parents of girls to the committee


  10. 10 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    a combination of moving away from home for college, . . . . keeps Scouting in the US from tapping into a knowledgeable and needed group of volunteers.

    There are older brothers of our scouts, with great skills that they learned in scouting, that I would like to tap to help with our Scouts BSA girls -- were they not away from home attending college.   There are also older cousins, male and female, in their twenties,  with Eagle Scout and Venturing backgrounds,  that I would love to tap to help out -- except that they live out of state. 

    We live in a town which people leave at age 18.   And to which people move at around age thirtyish,  already married,  and either with preschool children, or thinking about soon having children. 


  11. The www.ScoutsBsaDcGirls.org website is great!

    Our troop ended up going with using the services provided by bsahosting.org    Our committee member who was looking into this liked that the website came with email lists for the troop with a reasonable privacy policy that did not involve selling our data.    They have a template troop website that a troop can customize.


  12. 47 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

    cooking, dishwashing

    What kind of cooking and dishwashing?  

    Chopping vegetables,  getting lots of prep dishes dirty,  setting up a full three-dishpan wash station -- which might need to be refilled if kids are sloppy about getting food into the dishwater?  

    Or rehydrating dehydrated meals,  eating out of a single cup/bowl per person (or eating out of the meal pouch), then  licking your cup and spork clean and calling than good enough?

    • Upvote 1

  13. On 9/30/2019 at 8:23 AM, Cburkhardt said:

    We also determined that our meeting could be longer (we go 2 hours), given the longer attention spans of girls at the critical 11-13 year-old ages. 

    I agree that  11-13+ girls certainly have the attention spans for 2 hour meetings.   Our Scouts BSA girls' troop has 1.5 hr evening meetings.  The meetings always feel too short, especially given the over-long opening ceremony and announcements done jointly with the boys troop -- but given the schoolnight evening,  there is not time to go longer.      (A few years ago the 4th grade girl scout troop I was associated with, on the afternoons they got out of school early, had 2 hour meetings, and the longer meeting format let us do more during the meeting time.)    

    I could see that with scouts travelling by public transit,  longer  meetings on alternate weekend mornings,  is best.   We have scouts from four towns, who attend six different schools,  and so see each other only at scouts -- for us having a meeting every week is helpful for developing friendships within the group.  (As are the frequent weekend outings.)

    On 9/30/2019 at 8:23 AM, Cburkhardt said:

    This was in reaction to the survey of parents saying they did not want their girls or themselves engaging in product sales. 

    Sounds good to me.   I'd be very happy with that,  but we have inherited a product sales from the troop we linked to.      In my girl scout past,  girl scout troop parents (we polled them) preferred to fund activities through yearly dues and skip the cookie sale -- but we were a much lower budget operation that your Scouts BSA troop.

    On 9/30/2019 at 8:23 AM, Cburkhardt said:

    You can visit our site at http://www.ScoutsBsaDcGirls.org  if you want to see our take on this. 

    Very impressive.  We didn't get a website up till end of the summer, and immediately were found by two more families.   In retrospect, having a website earlier would have been better  -- but we were too busy trying to get out-of-doors to get to that quickly.

    @Cburkhardt you seem very organized, and off to a great start.  Almost intimidatingly so.  It is great that you are sharing what has worked well,  but I want to encourage those who are starting with less experience:  We are just muddling through, but we are improving, and growing in numbers and experience.  Fortunately none of our girls or parents seemed to get too discouraged in the initial months -- we focussed on getting out-of-doors camping, which I think made up for various other deficiencies.

    This is off topic, but  I do have one comment about your website @Cburkhardt ,  the recommended packing list seemed a little odd.  For a weekend camping list you included shampoo (I've never known any girl, no matter how long the hair, to wash her hair on a two-night camping trip) but you forgot the feminine hygiene products. 


  14. 6 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    You are assuming the male leaders identify as male...one cannot assume in the this brave new world.  I do actually wonder how that would play out.  All female troop, one male leader identifying as male and one currently biological male that identifies as female; is this in compliance with YPT?

    If we reach this point, this is when I am looking for some sane and sensible support from the chartered organization.

    If I remember right, the issue of transgender leaders has come up in Girl Guides (UK).


  15. I will point out that requiring a woman leader present when girls are involved is not unique to BSA. GSUSA also requires there to be at least one woman leader present (i.e. for GSUSA the require minimum two unrelated adults can be two women, or one-woman-and-one-man,  but not two men.)

    There are several ways BSA can get rid of the double standard, if people push hard to get the double standard removed.

    1) Allow adult leadership to be men-only.   Some parents, including me, will balk at this and not permit our daughers to go, depending on the event.  (Would I really want to send a small group of teenage girls on a camping trip to be supervised by young men in their early twenties?  Sorry.  Not a good idea in my mind.  )

    2) Make the exception the new rule -- I.e. if each female scout attending is accompanied by a parent or guardian, then you can get by without an adult female.   Say hello to "Family Scouting" if we, at the Scouts BSA level, have every girl accompanied by her dad.  Where would be the opportunity for scouts to learn how to be independent and self-sufficient if their parents are constantly hovering?

    3) Make it reciprocal.  Require there to be at least one male adult in attendence at any scouting event at which there is a male youth in attendance.  This would probably have no impact on any current Boy Scout troops.   It might require some cub scout packs to step up the recruiting of dads to work with the younger boy dens.   While nobody considers it inappropriate for a couple of moms to be in charge of a group of 8-year-old boys, it could be argued that it is beneficial for the younger boys to have the opporuninty to interact with male role models.   

    Which of these do you prefer?    As a parent of a female scout, I'd rather live with the double standard.   Anyway,  I don't see BSA going with option 1, especially with all the current concern about YPT and related issues that have been in the news recently. 


  16. 28 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    religious reasons for not having certain food items

    These, too, come in all degrees of strictness of avoidance,  and I am certainly sympathetic to those scouts who have religious/cultural reasons for avoiding certain foods.  We certainly don't want to be causing friction between a scout and his/her parents, and we want to be welcoming to scouts in all cultural groups.

     

    30 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    taste preferences

    I am much less sympathetic here.   My general attitude towards the scout is that if you don't like what someone else planned and cooked, then next time you can volunteer to be the meal planner and cook. 

    In practise,  scouts will sometimes eat at camp things that they didn't think that they liked -- and will sometimes expand their likes in that way.

     


  17. 16 minutes ago, Liz said:

    But using breadsticks as table decorations was a whole level of "we don't give a ____" beyond what I could really comprehend for a company that somehow thought they were making gluten free food available.

    "Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence and ignorance".   I don't know about that specific instance.  But I have encountered huge quantities of incompetence and ignorance when it come to dealing with food allergies.    Well intentioned people, who think that they are being helpful, and have absolutely no clue how ignorant they are, and how pointless their efforts to be allergy-friendly are.

     


  18. 38 minutes ago, Momleader said:

    with fabric markers. 

    Acrylic paint works well, too,  if you happen to already have that in your craft supplies.

    Turned the scouts loose with the scrap fabric box, the paints, the beads, the yarn, the entire set of craft supplies.   Those scouts who were interested came up with a really nice flag as a collaborative project after an afternoon's work on a school holiday afternoon.   (Probably helped that it was an older crowd . . .11-13-year-old girls.)   Since then they've taken the flag on most camping trips,  to summer camp,  and (as a one-patrol troop) used it as a stand-in for the troop flag we don't yet have.

    The worst patrol flag I saw was one made at NYLT.  Admitted it only needed to last a week.  But they used washable markers!  My daughter said it was a blurry mess after the first rain.  When I saw it end of the week it was completely unrecognizable.

     


  19. 23 minutes ago, Calion said:

    Do you think that at least some Campfire skits and songs should focus on teaching Scouting mores and values

    Yes

    24 minutes ago, Calion said:

    And are you aware of any such things?

    Scout vespers. ("Softly fall the light of day . . .")

    And I know a bunch of Girl Scout songs of that ilk that my daughter tells me we cannot sing in Scouts BSA.  ("On my honor",  "Girl Scouts Together", "Green Beret" . . .)


  20. 46 minutes ago, elitts said:

    If having bread-sticks on the tables as decorations is enough potential gluten to require avoiding the table, wouldn't just eating things that came out of the same kitchen pose the same risk?  I mean, I've worked around kitchens before, and even when the staff are making an effort to avoid cross contamination, the best you are going to get is a quick brushing off of the surface before they start pulling the next food item out of its container and the likelihood of the staff washing their hands between handling the gluten rich and gluten free items isn't going to be anywhere near 100%.  Even if the kitchen staff has been told to do so.

    You have just  described what I have observed:   Many people in the general population don't "get it" concerning severe food allergies/intolerances.  

    This is why some people with severe food allergies bring their own food.   Or only eat items than they can peel (like a banana or orange).  Or only eat food someone else has brought if it arrives in its original sealed food-manufacturer packaging, if they themselves can read the label, and if they can serve their portion before other people cross-contaminate it.

    For this reason, some colleges now have major-allergen-free kitchens/serving areas. The major college food-service company Aramark has "True Balance", and Sodexo has "Simple Servings".    Even this does not always prevent all accidental food reactions - if the servers mess up.

    For the pre-college-age kids, some families choose to keep their own kitchen at home completely free of the offending allergens, and always send their kid's food with them (to school, to camp, to whereever).

    • Upvote 1

  21. 13 minutes ago, Liz said:

    It's shocking how few people have even a basic understanding of allergens and cross-contact.

    I agree.

    Sometimes it seems what it takes for a person to "get it" concerning allergens and cross-contact is to either acquire a relative with food allergies (or intolerances), or to develop food allergies of their own.

    15 minutes ago, Liz said:

    I guess part of what I'm getting at is that simple awareness of dietary restrictions is a skill I think Scouts should learn.

    If all they learn is that some people need to be really careful about food, and that you should talk with the person to find out in what ways they need to be careful -- then they will have learned something really valuable.

    • Upvote 1

  22. 5 minutes ago, Liz said:

    . I bought my own brand new dutch oven to take camping that I won't share with the girls because you can't reliably clean gluten out of iron.  

    I've become fond of tri-ply cookware for campfire cooking -- stainless steel with an aluminum core that goes all the way up the sides of the pot.   Distributes heat well enough not to burn on the irregular heat of the campfire, but can be put in the dishwasher when you get home.   (Not reccomended by the manufacturer for campfire cooking, but seems to do well, and I bought a cheap off brand.)

     

    • Upvote 1

  23. Dealing with kids and dietary restrictions, it is important to get adequate information out of families. 

    "I avoid milk" might mean "Well, actually I drink lactose-free milk,  and I have no concerns about cross contamination"  or it can mean "I have a history of anphylactic reaction after being splashed by milk".

     

    • Upvote 1
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