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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 4 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

    Is is true that truthful isn’t listed since Scouts were used as spies during the African campaign and good spies aren’t truthful? 

    Well, the first of Baden -Powell's scout laws is "A SCOUT'S HONOUR IS TO BE TRUSTED" and part of the explanation for that was "If a scout were to break his honour by telling a lie, or by not carrying out an order exactly when trusted on his honour to do so, he would cease to be a scout, and must hand over his scout badge and never be allowed to wear it again."    See the wikipedia article cited about for the full 1908 scout law.

  2. 7 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    "who is responsible for the sexualitzation  . . . .?"  Is it the girls who wear revealing clothes,

    I would argue that the younger teen and pre-teen girls don't really understand how people react to what they are wearing -- they are just wanting to look "in", and probably care a lot more about what their female friends think that about what boys think.    What I don't understand is the parents who don't advise/enforce appropriate clothing for their girls.   These kids are not driving themselves to the store to buy their clothing with money they earned themselves.


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  3. 6 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    and instead of modernizing, GSUSA got rid of uniforms.

    Actually, they had tried modernizing, repeatedly, especially starting in the early 1970's and continuing into the 1980's.   Those uniforms were terrible.

    I really did not appreciate being mistaken for a flight attendant when in uniform. 

  4. 6 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    Isn't civic action just actions at a larger scale?

    But what scale is appropriate at what age?   I still like the old version of the Brownie Promise "I promise to do my best to love God and my country, to help other people every day, especialy those at home."   This was for up to age 9, and helping at home was something that girls could really do.

    In the newer program, the Junior Journey "Agent of Change" (for girls starting at age 9)  is encouraging civic action.   An example that is held up as a model is persuading other people to volunteer at an animal shelter.  

    I'd rather the younger scouts get in the habit of actualy helping people, not just badgering other people to help.

    • Upvote 1

  5. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    Appealing school restrictions on students is deemed a "civic action"

    Another questions is do we in scouting (whichever branch) want to promote "civic action"  or "servant leadership"?  Which focus do we think is more appropriate for training middle school kids?


  6. This piece of Girl Scout advice has been around for a while, and it lowered my opinion of GSUSA.


    Stories about middle- and high-school girls being pulled out of class for wearing shorts that are deemed too short or shirt straps that are seen as too thin are making headlines, going viral, and prompting many girls and adults to question whether or not these wardrobe rules are fair.  

    I feel that it is very important for kids to realize that even well-meaning adults are occasionally mistaken, and a kid needs to be able to (hopefully politely) correct a teacher in certain circumstances.   (One circumstance that comes to mind is the kid with food allergies -- he knows what he can safely eat much better that the teacher does. )

    But school dress codes are a terrible example.   I am happy that our local high-school has at least a few rules (no spaghetti straps) that discourage the over-sexualizing of teenage girls.  GSUSA suggesting that girls should lobby for the right to dress inappropriately seems really wrong-headed to me. 


  7. 3 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

    Not to be a downer here but one thing I don't hear anyone saying is that not everyone earns the Eagle Rank.

    As I am familiarizing myself with the rank advancment materials, one thing that has impressed me is that every rank along the way to Eagle is worthwhile for its own sake.   So if an idealistic new scout says "I want to earn eagle" but ends up not doing so,  then she still benefitted from as much of the journey as she did.   Work on improving your physical fitness? Great.  Learn to swim? Super.  Try taking on a leadership role in the troop?  Valuable experience.    It seems to me that we should help each scout grow starting from where they are at -- but certainly not expect that all will have the desire, or the ability, to reach Eagle.

    Big difference from GSUSA where the "Journeys" are a prerequisite to working on the Bronze/Silver/Gold Award, and where the attitude towards the "Journeys" is sometimes hold-your-nose-and-get-it-over-with-it -- i.e. some do not see much value in those Journeys for their own sakes.

    • Upvote 3

  8. As a new scouter, I found the Aims and Methods helpful as a summary of the current focus of BSA.   Yes @qwazse the 3 aims are mostly a restatment of what is in the oath.  But (as an outsider) I wanted to know whether the oath was regarded as just a historical relic or whether it was really still emphasized.

    And really, the aims of citizenship and character development (and even fitness) go back to the beginning, to Baden-Powell.

    Scouting for Boys, p 337 "Peace Scouting is suggested as an attractive means towards developing character and good citizenship"

    Aids to Scoutmastership, p21 "The Aim of Scout training is to improve the standard of our future citizenhood, expecially in Character and Health; to replace Self with Service, to make the lads individually efficient, orally and physically, with the object of using that efficiency for service for their fellow-men"

    And as far as enumerating the methods, it can be a helpful reminder that, for example,  the Outdoors is a method not an aim.   We are not primarily motivated by producing excellent outdoorsmen, but rather using the outdoors to produce excellent citizens.

    I did find it a bit jarring when I learned that "Leadership" had also been promoted to an aim.

    • Upvote 3

  9. 42 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    A "troop supply room" is definitely a painful way to handle gear. Take this as me not trying to tell you how to do your job, but how make your job work for both you and the troop's QM(s) ...

    Is there any better way?   Alternatives  I have seen are:  storing everying in a trailer parked at a different location than your meeting place,  and storing everything in someone's garage.   Both seem worse.


  10. 1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

    Of course, a number of these parents of girls are also going to be parents of boys, because that is one of the reasons for linking in the first place. 

    Not necessarily.   None of our girls had brothers already in our linked troop.   (Several had brothers in several other troops,  one of these brothers has since switched to our linked troop.)   I forsee more boy-girl sibling pairs in the two troops in the future, as more kids come up from cubs.

  11. 2 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    All the girls in both the Weblos/AOL dens have parents in registered leadership positions either in the pack or boys' troop, so I feel confident it will happen.

    Assuming that these experienced parents will continue volunteering,  it sounds like mostly what you need is more girls -- who will likely come with inexperienced but willing to help out parents.

    2 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    Knowing that some areas are having an easier time recruiting at the Weblos rank and that the girls who are joining are from the same friend group is incredibly helpful information.

    Anecdotes are just that -- but in our troop we have no Venturers, no highschoolers, and no crossovers from cub scouts.   Only 6th-8th graders.  (Our area did not have early-adopter cub packs.)       And yes,  about half the girls in the troop are there because they were invited by a friend who was already planning to join the troop.

    If you want to be sure that the new local girls' troop is conveniently at your CO (and not in the next town) you might not want to wait a year and a half.    Do any of the Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts have sisters (age 11 and up) interested in scouts?   Has anyone asked?   (All the troops/packs in our school district did this for us, and yes it turned up girls.) 

    And if the interested 11-14-year old girls only have dads willing to camp, and not moms willing to camp,  you could consider double-registering with the new girls troop, and occasionally camping with them.


  12. On 4/16/2019 at 8:28 AM, PinkPajamas said:

    Slightly off topic.

    My daughter and two other girls just crossed over to Weblos. We have three girls in an AOL den. The troop our pack shares a charter with has stated a commitment to start a linked female troop. Do you have any advice on things we could be doing to make sure this troop has a good solid start? Besides helping the AOL den find two other girls. What do new troops need from their incoming members?

    Does that mean they'll be crossing over to scouts in two years time?  Hopefully by then there will already be a troop going that they can join.

    Consider critical mass.  Are there other girls troops starting in your town or school district?  It might make sense to join with them instead of getting another new troop going.  (Or maybe there will be enough interested girls for another new troop.)

    About this "stated commitment to start a linked female troop".  What is backing this statement?  General goodwill?  A willingness on the part of the troop committee to help with the administration of the new troop?  Experienced scouters with daughters who want to be scouts?   A daughter who really wants to be a scout can be *very* motivating to an adult to put the time into volunteering.

  13. 17 minutes ago, willray said:

    With the proviso that even for a Linked Troops model, BSA still requires that the committee members submit a separate Adult application to be a member of the 2nd troop's committee (even though it's the same committee).

    We were caught by surprise by the requirement that all the committee members submit a new adult application to be on the committee for the "linked" troop.    As things now stand,  some committee members are registered as committee members for both troops, some just for the girls, and some just for the boys. (Why?  because of the paperwork hassle.)  The committee (committees?) does (do?) meet as a single entitiy with a single meeting each month.    I suppose if it ever came down to a vote on a contentious issue it might matter who was registered for which troop.

    22 minutes ago, willray said:

     As a result, there appears to be no actual paperwork difference between two "Linked Troops that share a committee", and two "not Linked Troops that have separate committees with all the same individuals on them".

    Somehow, to me, this seems daft. 

    I agree.  Maybe the BSA  can improve their application process in the future.  

  14. 7 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    Their "program materials" and roster. I understand not sharing a roster but laugh every time I think about BSA wanting GSUSA program materials.

    The Girls' Guides and Journeys books are available to anyone willing to shell out enough money at a girl scout shop.   (Or at your local library).  But worse are some of the plans for, for example, how to do the Junior Camper Badge in two meetings without ever going camping.   See Junior Planning Guide | Girl Scouts River Valleys Volunteers   and in particular the documents it links to such as Camper Activity Plan 1 and  Camper Activity Plan 2     Admittedly this is from a council website, not from national,  but since I am not currently a junior girl scout leader I cannot see what national has in the volunteer toolkit for the Camper Activity Plan 1 and the Camper Activity Plan 2.     It might be truly embarassing to GSUSA to see these compared side by side with BSA materials.  

    I found it frustrating when local G.S. leaders cut corners on badge requirements.   I found it even more frustrating when our local council set a bad example by doing similarly at council sponsored events.  But when I realized that national was encouraging this behavior, I lamented the direction that GSUSA was going.

    Then came the news (Oct 2017) that BSA would soon be admitting girls into Boy Scouting. 

    7 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    The terrible program material is WHY girls leave.

    Yup.  My daughter, back in October 2017, picked up a recent Boy Scout handbook, and began comparing it with the current Cadette materials (and with old Girl Scout books from the 1920's) and told me that this (Boy Scouts) was what she wanted to do.  

    I have certainly recommended to people wondering about the differences between the two organizations that they compare the published program materials.

    • Like 3

  15. We have a one-patrol troop.  PL and APL but no SPL or APSL.   Initial terms of office were for three months.  Next elections in May.

    The scouts did dole out most of the standard positions of responsibility.   Some of the scouts are growing into their roles.  (The instructor is enthusiastically studying the scouts BSA handbook so she can teach the others.)  Some of the roles we probably should not have had.  (The librarian has nothing to do yet because the troop owns no books -- but since no one is first class yet,  no one is getting advancment credit for a bogus job.)     The scouts may want to organize things a bit differently next time.  (For example, split the quartermaster job into two, since it is large.)

    6 hours ago, qwazse said:

    I strongly suggest you  move up your SPL elections to before you depart for camp. Two or three campouts is enough for youth to decide who they think would be a good leader for the week. I don't think you will regret having one youth and her assistant "on point" for the entire week. Really, PL is the much harder job at camp, and your patrols -- especially very new ones -- really need stable leadership. In this circumstance, the SPL basically fills out rosters assigning patrols to troop-wide responsibilities, leads roll call, and does occasional after-action review with the PLs (i.e., practices holding PLCs).

    For a one-patrol troop,  should we have both a PL and an SPL for summer camp?  Or can the PL fill in for the non-existent SPL when the summer camp has a task for the troop SPL?

    • Upvote 1

  16. 11 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    wanting us to sign non disclosure agreements as troop leaders

    Non-disclosure of what?  the contents of the volunteer toolkit?

    11 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    I'm really interested in watching the membership numbers for both organizations. GSUSA has had issues with girls dropping the program after Brownies (Bear equivalent) for years. It lines up perfectly with Weblos and I wonder how many girls will try Weblos instead of sports or dropping out of scouting completely. 

    In my service unit, there seems to be continuous attrition from about 3rd to 6th grades.   Some troops hold together long enough for the girls to transition into the "older girl" troop (A local 6th-12th grade troop) but others troops just fold leaving their girls without a troop.   It will be interesting to see how many of these girls will try Scouts BSA.

    11 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    Our service unit/council is hostile to dual registered families

    I haven't been to any service unit meetings (as a parent) since Scouts BSA started in February, since I've been too busy with Scouts BSA,  but prior to that I did not see hostility.   I did see people in Girl Scout circles who thought cubs/scoutsBSA would not be interesting to girls - and this was from families that had children in both programs.

    I actually could imagine a family choosing Brownies followed by Scouts BSA.   (If you ignore the journeys, stick close to Girl Scout traditions, and actually take the Brownies camping, the program works.  And you can take them camping without their parents   And, as "girl led" the girls get the fun of actually choosing what they are going to do.)   

    I cannot imagine choosing to do cubs followed by Cadettes/Seniors/Ambassadors.

  17. 14 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

    I think GSUSA is probably trying to get a handle on the number of its youth who are dual registering with the BSA. We’re the results of this survey promised to be compiled in the aggregate only or do you believe this is an effort to develop a marketing list to do “comparative” outreach to the dual-registered families?

    The link was specific to the person taking the survey -- so yes the respondant can be identified.

    If I remember right, they said that your answers would not be shared with your daughter's troop leader. 

    It will be interesting to see if my family gets any further surveys, or marketing targetted to the dual registered group.

    Another survey question, if I remember correctly, was whether the survey respondant's daughter was planning to re-register with GSUSA for the coming year.  (It is currently early-bird reregistration season).  Since the GSUSA registration year starts in October,  any girl who decided to switch to Scouts BSA in February will still be a member of GSUSA through next September.   A big question for GSUSA is whether these girls will continue dual registering or whether they will stick with only one organization next year.     

    • Thanks 1

  18. Moderaters, please move my post if you think it is in the wrong forum but . . .

    GSUSA is now, perhaps inadvertantly, advertising Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA to at least some of its member families.   I was, as a GSUSA parent, sent a link to a survey for parents asking a lot of questions about my family's opinions of and experience with GSUSA.  One of the questions was "Which other activities or organizations will your girl be busy with? (Select all that apply.) . . . Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts (Scouts BSA). . ."    So if I had not been aware that Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts were admitting girls, I would be now.



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  19. I can see three possible styles of camping that need three different types of equipment

    1) backpacking.  lightweight backpacking stoves.

    2) front country camping where you want lots of time for other activities, and so want to cook quickly, using a propane stove, which is boringly similar to cooking in the kitchen at home.

    3) front country camping somewhere you can build a campfire for cooking, on a trip when you have time to build a campfire for cooking.

    And then you need to keep this stuff organized.  

    For #2 or #3, any do you have any recommendations between

    a) classic wooden patrol box that neatly organizes stuff and opens up into a work surface but weighs a ton (when empty)

    b) some kind of plastic rolling tool box

    So far we have been using equipment borrowed from troop families and a local boys' troop, and dumped into plastic tote bins, and returned to their respective homes after each trip.   We'd like to be a little better organized.  Also have it better set up so that our (very young) quartermaster can better manage the gear with less adult help -- a patrol box would seem managable for a 6th grade quartermaster to keep in order.  Recommendations?  

    • Upvote 1

  20. On 4/11/2019 at 1:11 PM, Cburkhardt said:

    That would be a prime topic for Bryan of Scouting or maybe even Scouting Magazine.

    Well I guess it would be.  At your suggestion I went looking and found that Bryan on Scouting had already thought so:



    We asked Mike LoVecchio, BSA advancement specialist, about such a situation


    “If an individual authorized to sign off on rank requirements is not properly fulfilling that responsibility (requirements must be completed as written), the unit leader should either revoke that authorization or ensure that individual is properly trained in advancement policies and procedures,” LoVecchio says.

    Revocation of authorization really sounds like the nuclear option.   Have you ever seen it done?