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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 13 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Assemble PLC regularly

    • We actually opted for 10-15 minutes after the troop meeting closes.


    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? 

  2. 3 hours ago, malraux said:

    Woggles in general are fine, but the stiff 2 strand, 4 lobed leather woggle (item 2173) is restricted to wood badge participants only to be worn with the wb necker. It’s distinctive in appearance and a violation of the insignia guide. 

    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?

  3. 54 minutes ago, scoutldr said:

    Is that a Wood Badge woggle?

    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?)

  4. 1 hour ago, willray said:

    So... Who else wants to show off what their cross-over patrol(s) do for cooking, with no senior scouts or adult help, on their first campout, and first time cooking outdoors?

    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.

  5. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    Yep, my complaint about mixing genders is that it takes away the leverage to force boys to do what they don't naturally like to do. I guess it's the same with girls, but I don't have as much experience there.

    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.

    • Upvote 1

  6. On 5/8/2019 at 12:53 PM, The Latin Scot said:

    As an LDS pack, we move our boys up to Scouts BSA based on age (on their 11th birthday), not the school year.


    17 hours ago, Pale Horse said:

    With the Church no longer chartering packs will the LDS method of promoting to next rank upon birthday continue (or be allowed)? Or will all Scouts be required to follow the more traditional approach of promotion at end of school year?


    1 hour ago, Pale Horse said:

    so I guess my question is: Are other Chartered Orgs allowed to operate under that method or was that an exemption for LDS units and no longer allowable? 

    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


    To become a Scout, a youth must : Have completed the fifth grade and be at least 10 years old OR be at least 11 years old OR have earned the Arrow of Light Award and be at least 10 years old. . . .

    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.


  7. 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.)


    Also fitting with a pioneering theme: no propane.  Only cook over wood.

    • Like 1

  8. 1 hour ago, SSF said:

    I can't fathom how any unit could hold ten events, six of which must be outdoor events or camping trips, within a three months span. What unit is that active...???

    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.

  9. 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.    

    • Upvote 1

  10. 9 hours ago, AltadenaCraig said:

    Tonight my small linked-troop of five registered scouts will be visited-upon by a GSUSA troop of TEN junior girl-scouts.

    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).

    • Like 1

  11. 5 minutes ago, PinkPajamas said:

    From my experience the problem is the younger girls are really restricted in what they can do outdoors, no over night camping or watercraft until brownie (wolf age) and no tent camping until they're Juniors (weblos)

    Not the rules I've seen!  Is it council specific?

    We took 2nd graders (platform)-tent camping.  And we did not require the mothers of the girls to come along.

    My daisy co-leader did not want to camp, so our daisies did not camp.  But I know of some who did backyard tent overnights for the daisies.


  12. 10 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

    Nevertheless, back in the day, before the GSUSA allowed their program to ignore the outdoor component, somehow their structural model DID work.  I'd be curious to your thoughts about what might have made up for the lack of institutional knowledge among successful GSUSA troops in the past?

    A long generation back, troops (at least the ones I saw) did have institutional knowledge.  While Brownie troops were only two grades (2nd-3rd), the older troops were three grades (Juniors 4th-6th,  Cadettes 7th-9th, Seniors 10th-12th).  When the daughter of a troop leader-mom moved up a level, her mom moved up a level also, typically becoming an assistant troop leader at the next level for a couple of years, before moving into the troop leader role her daughter's third year in the troop.   

    This meant that troops were large,  maybe 30+ girls,  even at the Brownie stage.

    And there was not a troop committee supporting the troop, so the troop leaders had a lot of work divided between a few women doing the work.

    What has done in the model?  Two things:

    1) Women entered payed employment, and did not have the time for a very time-consuming volunteer job.  Hence the tiny single-grade troops meeting infrequents, which we have now.

    2) Kids are no longer expected to learn how to behave well in large groups.  (The public schools no longer train them to do so.) So having 30 second, third, or fourth graders in a group, supervising by two or three moms, no longer works very well.


    • Thanks 1

  13. 45 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

    Tonight my small linked-troop of five registered scouts will be visited-upon by a GSUSA troop of TEN junior girl-scouts.


    46 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

    As 5th-grade Juniors, these girls will be moving on to middle-school soon, so its a natural time for their leadership to begin evaluating the next step in their program.  Unfortunately for the GSUSA but fortunately for my BSA linked-troop, these leaders are highly supportive of their girls' ambitions but have no appetite for the investment in time and treasure that it will take to fulfill them. My female ASM heard about the murmurs and approached the leaders about our program:  "THAT sounds like the answer!" was the reply and tonight we'll gauge how ambitious their girls are for a meaningful outdoor experience.  Opportunity knocks.

    I also have thought that the Junior-Girl-Scout to Scouts-BSA is a great logical procession.

    GSUSA's Brownie and Junior program,  at least if run in a traditionalist sort of way,  has one very appealing advantage over cub scouts:  the emphasis on "girl led" in an elementary-school sort of way, where the girls are encouraged to begin making decisions and carrying them out.

    I could certainly see families wanting to do Brownies and Juniors, and then planning to cross over into Scouts BSA at the end of 5th grade.

    (It's almost what my daughter did, but she had to wait a little for Scouts BSA for girls to launch.)

    P.S. Last weekend, while out camping with a Scouts BSA girls troop,  we had opportunity to watch cub scout pack camping in action.  (The main path at the camp went right by their site).   It was eye opening.  The boys were all playing in the woods while the dads were breaking camp.   Quite a contrast to what Brownie/Junior camping used to be -- a GS trainer explained it this way "I'm going to teach you how to camp with 20 little girls and have them do all the work."

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1

  14. This is no longer recognizably the girl scout program in which I grew up.

    Scouts BSA is a great program,  but there are things I will miss.

    The trefoil with the eagle,  the scout handshake, Thinking Day,  the Brownie Story, "twist me and turn me and show me the elf",  flying-up, "three good turns", "a sister to every girl scout", and the songs, . . . .

    • Sad 1

  15. I don't see it on page 26 of Volunteer Essentials.  And this "Volunteer Action Guide" seems to be a new thing,  separate from the Volunteer Essentials.

    Besides, that seems to be the Volunteer Essentials guide for Girl Scouts of West Central Florida.   (Different councils have different versions of the Volunteer Essentials, and it is updated every year.)

  16. 2 hours ago, MattR said:

    This was not a GSUSA decision. Just that of some local council (or whatever the equivalent is).


    2 hours ago, cocomax said:

    Yes, it is a GSUSA policy to have nothing to do with BSA.

    These orders from GSUSA 

     . . . .

    Source:  http://www.gssne.org/content/dam/girlscouts-gssne/documents/GSSNE volunteer-action-guide-v1.pdf

    Actually @cocomax quotes from a council document,  not a GSUSA document.  

    I have seen very similar put out by other GS councils.   But I have not located it on either the GSUSA web site, or on my local GS council's web site.

    • Upvote 1

  17. I think that tent arrangments are an area where the differences between what girls collectively tend to like and what boys tend to like may show up.   What I have seen (both when I was a kid, and also when I was a girl scout leader) is that girls would like their whole friend-group to be in one big tent.  So, yes,  pack six or seven girls into one of those big platform tents that the girl scout camps have -- and everyone is happy.   Need to split a group of elementary-aged girls between two separate tents -- and all kinds of drama might break out.   Fortunately, the Scouts BSA girls are a little more mature in their reactions than the younger ones.

  18. I find it inconsistent that there is no two-year-apart-max for cabins while there is for tents . . . no matter how small the cabin and no matter how large the tent.   A cabin that sleeps 4 does not seem all that much different from 4 in a large tent.    It would be nice if the acceptible age range were a little larger if there were multiple girls in the tent.


    • Upvote 1

  19. 7 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    ever use a one person tent?

    I was thinking of the odd-man-out (odd-girl-out?) being in a tent by herself -- not necessarily a one-person-tent.   Since the tents that available for us to borrow seem to be 2-person, 3-person, and 4+-person tents.

  20. The scouts can do the math, and figure out how far apart they are in age, and who they can tent with.  It's not rocket science.

    3 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    Another method is that everyone brings a single person tent.

    An old non-boy-scout rule for girls is "safety-in-numbers".   I'd much rather not have girls tenting by themselves.


    • Upvote 2

  21. 2 hours ago, Scoutero0 said:

    Participate in the fall and spring sales is required for earning the award. Something has to be sold to get the participation award. However, It is not required to sell hundreds of boxes.

    https://www.girlscoutsla.org/content/dam/girlscouts-girlscoutsla/documents/product-sales/cookies/Cookie Program 2018/FAQs Participation Definition FINAL 2.pdf

    That document does not say that a girl must participate in the cookie sale to earn gold award.   The requirment is that participation in both the cookie sale and the fall product sale is required in order to do any other money earning acitivities:


    Q: I have two Ambassadors remaining in my troop. Both girls are working on their Gold
    Award Project. They do not think that they will need to raise additional funds to
    complete their projects. What should they do?
    A: The Girl Scout Motto is “Be Prepared,” With that said, the girls should participate in
    both the Fall Product and Cookie Programs and earn the participation patches. It would
    be advantageous for the girls to have met the requirement, in the event that they need
    raise additional funds towards their Gold Award Project, than to be in a position where
    they need to raise additional funds and not have met the requirement.

    This is encouraging the scouts to do the sales to "be prepared" "in the event that they need
    raise additional funds towards their Gold Award Project".   It is not requiring them to do so.

    • Upvote 1


    14 hours ago, Scoutero0 said:

    Girl Scouts- Gold Award requirements (according to Girl Scouts.org)

    - have been a cadette 
    - Have earned the Girl Scout Silver Award
    - must participate in the Fall Product and Cookie Programs, and earn the participation patches for both programs.

    I've never heard that having been a Cadette was prereq for Gold.

    There is an alternative to have earned Silver -- doing an extra Journey instead.

    I've never heard that participation in Fall Product Sale and Cookie sale is a requirement.

    Where are you getting these from?  Are they specific to your council?

  23. 1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

    keep it simple, imo.

    No fractional ages.


    7 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

    Just to be on the safe side, I ran it by my DE & the folks at council, who agreed.  Just look at the age in years, don't worry about fractions thereof.

    This does *not* keep it simple.  Try explaining to Suzy and Sally why they are allowed to share a tent for half a year, and not allowed to share a tent for the other half of the year.