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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 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.

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  2. 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?

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.     

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  5. 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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  6. 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

  7. 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?  

  8. 14 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    If the Scoutmaster wants to keep these kinds of struggles to a minimum (minimum can still be a lot), they may eventually have to assume the bad guy role of gatekeeper for the program values and process. Sometimes they have to be authoritative (flex their position of leadership muscle) to force a specific direction.

    How to  "flex their position of leadership muscle"  while still remaining on good, cooporative terms -- that could be tricky.    I think another go-round of attempted gentle persuasion first may be in order.   I am still learning the interaction styles of the other scouters,  and how hard I can push and have it still perceived as friendly, not hostile.

    Have you ever heard of the "tact-filter" theory? (  http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/tact.html )Nerds (scientists, engineers, etc) apply the appropriate amount of tact to everything they hear -- and when nerds interact with nerds everyone is happy.   "Normal" people apply the appropriate amount of tact to everything they say -- and when normal people interact with normal people, everyone is happy.   But "normal" people think the nerds are downright rude, and nerds think that the "normal" people beat around the bush in an infuriating way.       And I don't know the other scouters well enough yet to know where they fall on this scale.

  9. 4 hours ago, swilliams said:

    but rushing through shortchanges the experience. 


    3 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

    I urge my Scoutmaster peers with all-girl Troops to be vigilant on advancement sign-offs because we do not want new and inexperienced Scouters to fail to require the fullest demonstration of skill mastery. 


    3 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

    The point here is that advancement in all-girl Troops will be under the microscope by experienced Scouters and those Troops need to openly exhibit precise compliance with advancement activity.  Of course the most important reason for precise advancement compliance is that we want the Scouts to acquire these skills and absorb character-building lessons in the process.

    I agree.

    Now, to implement this -- helping new and inexperienced scouters see the importance and benefit of requiring a full demononstration of skill mastery.

    Suppose you want to convince an ASM, new to BSA, about how rushing through shortchanges the scouts.  About how cutting corners on demonstration of skill mastery shortchanges the scouts.   Do you have, say, any recommended reading to suggest?   (This is not a hypothetical question,   I would like to bring someone around to this point of view and have not succeeded yet.)

  10. The article is so confused that it is difficult to tell whether or not the scouts are confused.


    A1001 is working to earn the highest ranking in the Girl Scouts, the gold award. Once they finish their final project, they will graduate to that level and the troop will be no more. However, they will still be considered a girl scout for life and will be able to start their own troop.

    A few examples from a single quote why I think the reporter did not know what she was talking about:

    1) Girl Scouts has no ranks

    2) One does not "graduate" to the gold award.

    3) Their troop disbanding is not a direct consequence of their completing the gold award. 

    4) "will be considered a girl scout for life and will be able to start their own troop".   In my area, moms with absolutely no scouting background are pressed into becoming troop leaders, has nothing to do with what experience they had in scouting as a kid.

    5) "will be considered girl scout for life?  Very unclear whether this is referring to the old idea of "once a scout always a scout" or whether it means that they are planning to purchase lifetime memberships in GSUSA as adults. 

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  11. https://sippican.theweektoday.com/article/rochester-girl-scouts-try-boy-scout-ranks/40541

    has a great picture of Girl Scouts, wearing Girl Scout uniforms, holding their newly acquired Scouts BSA handbooks for girls.

    If I understand it correctly (and the article is a little confusing) a whole troop of girl scouts has joined the boy scouts.  They plan to finish up their GSUSA gold awards, and also work on Boy Scout ranks.



  12. Hi Barry, 

    Sorry, I don't mean to "rub sand in the wound".   I am genuinely interested in learning what the BSA differences are.   Every so often I feel like I am in never-never-land when something that I thought was common to all parts of the scout movment turns out not to be.      I really appreciate that you are helping me learn the BSA way of doing things.

  13. 4 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    Yes, but it's not an overly used term, and in this day and age of A  LOT of cultural moments, it's easy to misinterupret words with no face.


    Absolutely, context matters.   But since @Cburkhardt was talking about scouting,  "the movement" seemed perfectly clear to me.   Anyone else care to comment about how common and recognizable this "movement" terminology is currently in BSA?   I have been learning that in some cases BSA is just different from what I am familiar with in that other branch of the scout movement, WAGGGS.  I keep encountering things that surprise me,  especially in areas that BSA is just different, even different from other WOSM scout organizations.  (Scout sign with hand at shoulder height, or with upper arm horizontal?   Scout sign as part of the scout handshake?  Scout "Oath" rather than "Promise?  The third part of the scout Oath/Promise, symbolized by the third finger of the scout sign is what? 

  14. Hi Barry,   I don't know how common the "movement" terminology is in BSA currently,  but it goes way back.   The preface of the 1911 BSA handbook starts "The Boy Scout Movement has become almost universal . . ." and the first chapter of the 1920 Scouting for Girls starts "When Sir Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scout movment in England . . ."

  15. 31 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

    I wouldn't worry too much about occasionally using the term "Boy Scouts".  While the top volunteers and pros would prefer use of the new term, the 26 Scouts in our all-girl troop often refer to themselves as being part of "Boy Scouts". 

    When speaking to prospective female scouts and their families,  I deliberately use the term "Boy Scouts of America", for example "a new Boy Scouts of America troop for girls" or "an all-girls Boy Scouts of America" troop.   Why?  Because the general public is familiar with the term "Boy Scouts" and does not know the term "Scouts BSA".  

    I am careful though with terminology, and try to use "Boy Scouts of America" instead of "Boy Scouts" since the organization is still "Boy Scouts of America" even though the program name is now "Scouts BSA"



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  16. 33 minutes ago, ValleyBoy said:

    If a person is a member of both troops committee they should be  focused on both troops and show NO FAVORTISM of one troop over the other. 

    To be clear, I am not talking about favoritism, I am talking about specialization in roles.    (And even with a non-linked troop, how many roles a committee member takes on may vary with the size of the committee.)

  17. 1 hour ago, HelpfulTracks said:

    Will there be issues unique to girls or caused by the presence of girls?

    One new issue, caused by the presence of girls, is the linked troop structure.   While I am very pleased to hear about @Cburkhardt's success with a non linked troop,   for those of us with small girls' troops in not-quite-so-densely populated areas, and with scouters (parents of the girls) who don't have the years of experience working with BSA scout troops,   the mentoring that is available from the linked boys' troops is invaluable.    But that raises lots of new questions about best practises:  Just how to structure the linkage?   Do we do any activities jointly or all separately?  Which ones?   Do individual adults on the committee focus on one troop or the other, or  on both?   Etc. Etc.   Hearing about other troops experiences (good and bad) would be helpful.  

  18. Thanks for the explanations so far. They are helpful. Now for the second half of my question: do any of you also have an official BSA source to point to for the differences?   That I could show to an adult who is not seeing eye-to-eye with other adults as to what exactly some of the requirements require?

  19. 21 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    You answered your question. Girls learn differently than boys, so the patrol method will have to compromise to have any growth. 

    Hi @Eagledad, I just don't understand what you mean.  Can you restate in different words?

    By "the patrol environment is very important to growth"  I mean that learning to work with others in a patrol environment is important to the growth of the individual scouts.


  20. 24 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    The patrol environment is very important to growth, but will be neglected in my opinion because of the one size fits all mentality

    I think that the patrol environment is very important to growth (based on my experience eons ago with patrols in a girl scout / girl guide context).   Why do you think that patrols will be neglected now that girls have joined BSA?

    But I could see a girls' patrol having a rather different style of operation than a boys' patrol,  just as any two patrols could come to have their own style or culture.

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