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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. My question concerned the small cards stating their new rank, that the scouts are given, along with their new rank patch,  at the COH.

    Are these important to save long term?  (like blue cards)      Or does the scout not need to be concerned about saving the card,  since the sign-offs in his book are his documentation that he completed his rank?      Really, what I am asking is:   is there any problem if a scout does not have or keep these cards?


  2. 36 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

    My point is that the implication in their release is wrong.

    I got a very different impression of the overall emphasis of their talking points.   Mainly that they want to emphasize that GSUSA is not part of BSA.   Note the repetition of words like "separate" "independent" "never been affiliated" "distinct".         The first five points really try to hammer this home.     In contrast the word "safe" is mentioned only once, and only near the end where you see it only after you have read to the end.

    A great deal of the general public seems to think that the two organizations are acutally somehow the same.  


    30 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

      In the BSA having alcohol on outings is immediate cause for removal from the activity and lifetime dismissal from the organization.

    Hi @Cburkhardt   

    Here are the relevant rules from my GSUSA council, emphasis mine.  

    In my connection with GSUSA I have never seen adults bringing alcohol to, or drinking on outings.   

    I don't know where you dredged up those comments,  but in my experience that is not normal.


    Substance Use and Abuse Policy
    GSEMA has an obligation to its girl members and their families/guardians, its volunteers and staff to maintain a
    drug and alcohol free environment. GSEMA prohibits:
     Use, possession, transfer or sale of illegal drugs.
     Use or being under the influence of legal substances (including but not limited to alcohol, tobacco,
    marijuana, or any other medications without a prescription), when in the presence of girls, including while
    driving girls; when carrying out a Girl Scout program, including meetings in private homes; or otherwise
    volunteering on behalf of GSEMA.
    Any volunteer engaged in the use, possession, transfer or sale of illegal drugs; the improper use of legal
    substances; the use or being under the influence of legal substances when in the presence of girls, when carrying
    out a Girl Scout program, or otherwise volunteering on behalf of GSEMA is subject to immediate release from
    their volunteer position.
    Any volunteer or member engaged in giving illegal drugs, legal substances (including but
    not limited to alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or medications not explicitly prescribed and given express written
    permission to the girl(s)) will be immediately released from their volunteer position and their membership will be
    Alcohol may be served at adult-only fundraising/donor events or adult-only gatherings with prior authorization
    from the GSEMA Executive Team. The Executive Team, at their discretion, may provide authorization for alcohol
    to be served on GSEMA properties when the properties are being rented by individuals/groups/organizations for
    non-Girl Scout related activities (such as facilities rentals for weddings, parties, etc.).



  4. 27 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

    As for competitor organizations that are piling-on with their PR, this is part of the competitive market and they are taking advantage at this moment

    As for GSUSA - they have the problem that much of the general public thinks that Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are the same organization.    You can take a group of Scouts BSA girls,  all wearing the older shirts that clearly say "Boy Scouts of America"  and people assume that they are Girl Scouts.   (This has happened to my Scouts BSA troop more than once.)     I've had to explaine to numerous friends that BSA and GSUSA are completely separate organizations.      It is unsurprising that GSUSA wants people to know that they are not part of the organization that is going bankrupt.

  5. Where is the wood (the logs) coming from?  Is it available on the property from fallen trees?   Otherwise, what about all the "don't move firewood" admonitions, to slow the spread of invasive bugs.

    Informational signage seens more useful that a really fancy enclosure -- though I doubt the insects and chipmunks will care about either.   And what is the purpose of the fancy enclosure anyway?  So that people will understand that it is a deliberate wood pile, and not simply leftover logs that someone forgot to carry away?  To keep kids from climing on it?

    • Like 1

  6. 5 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    I'm skeptical.  In my 10 years of recruiting kids, never once have I heard - are you a member of WOSM?

    That's because if families care,  they will know that information without asking you.    I thought the WOSM connection was a benefit when comparing BSA to BPSA.   I also thought that a local council and local camps and name recogniztion were a big benefit when comparing BSA to BPSA.

  7. On 1/20/2020 at 10:50 AM, FireStone said:

    I haven't read to scouts at a meeting or anything, but I've suggested books to scouts and parents that are scouting-related. Some favorites of my scout are The Last Badge by George McClements, and the entire Bear Grylls Adventure series,

    For the 3rd-4th (or 2nd-5th) grade girls,  I would recommend the various girl guide stories by Catherine Christian.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Christian Really emphasize patrols.  Probably only available from used book dealers. 

  8. 10 hours ago, David CO said:

    I don't see the commissioner position as having any value to the unit. 


    1 hour ago, PACAN said:

    No value added.  Most are not current with what's going on so they are unable  answer even simple questions.  

    We've heard from the naysayers.  I could certainlly see that a well-established unit, with lots of its own experience, might not be looking for an outside perspective.    Now for the rest of you.   If you have found a unit commissioner valuable to your unit:   what help were you hoping for?  and what help did they give you?   and just how experienced was your unit anyway?


    • Upvote 1

  9. 23 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

    older youth (who might be turned off by "Tenderfoot" rank

    I had a fourteen-year-old who joined BSA with extensive backpacking experience who absolutely detested and despised the name "Tenderfoot".

    Go back to Baden-Powell's original definition, "A Tenderfoot is a boy who is not yet a scout"  from Scouting for Boys page 36.  Call the kid a "Tenderfoot" as soon as he or she turns in his/her registration form.  Leave the rank requirements (and insignia) for "Scout" and the current "Tenderfoot" the same as they are not, but call them "Fourth Class Scout" and "Third Class Scout".    

    It really seems backwards for "Tenderfoot" to be a lower rank than "Scout"


    • Upvote 2

  10. 57 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    These are not the point of a UC.  The whole purpose of a UC is to be a coach, mentor, and adviser to the unit leaders.  That's where the value is in the role.  You've got to focus on where your role brings value.  A UC should be a pretty senior Scouter and comfortable putting paperwork, popcorn, and FOS into it's proper perspective.

    That said - as a UC you do have to have a broader view than just outdoor program.


    9 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    In life most of us benefit from coaches, mentors, and advisors.  Most of us benefit from having someone who has traveled the road before us that we can ask questions of.  I do it in Scouting, I do it at work.  The UC role is Scouting's attempt to provide that.  Let's gather together that experience and build a program to get that experience shared. 

    I contacted a district commissioner about the possibility of a unit commisser for our troop -- and the answer was, basically, that they are lacking in volunteers.   I'm thinking about talking with other local troops about whether they have any "retired" scouters would be happy to give some advice, based on their experience, to a new troop still figuring out how to get itself organized.   If I find such a person, is it better to keep it as unofficial mentoring, or to suggest that this person consider signing on as a unit commissioner?   (I understand that "new-unit commissioners" only need work with one troop at a time.)

    • Upvote 1

  11. I lived in Europe for a while as a kid.   When we (GSUSA scouts) wore our completely unofficiial, home-made, neckerchiefs with our ordinary clothing, we were immediately recognized as being some variety of Scout or Guide.  (There were mulitple scouting/guiding organizations within what, to an American, is a fairly small geographical region.)   When we wore our GSUSA uniforms we not nearly recognizable as scouts/guides.

    I much prefer the neckerchief to the  "class b" shirt for being identifiable as scouts when out of uniform.     It is readily recognizable from the distance.   With a group of kids in matching t-shirts you need to get close enough to read the printing before you know what kind of organization or club it is.   

    • Upvote 3

  12. Late 2018:  The DE told us we could pick any troop number we wanted, so long as the CO approved.  It could even duplicate a number elsewhere in the council or district. 

    We let the girls pick.  They picked a two-digit number different from any troop in our town or adjacent towns.  (We did advise against picking "1" as there are already a half-dozen or so Troop 1's in our district, which is confusing.)

    Then we went to turn in the charter paperwork.  Registrar told us that all girls' troops would have the same leading digit in the thousands place.  This was very annoying.  However, they said, we could call ourselves by the short version if we want.

    We have managed to get scoutbook and beascout to hide the leading digit.  The girls wear the 2-digit number on their uniforms.  We turned in our summer camp paperwork using the two-digit number, and no one complained.   Basically we have managed to hide the leading digit fairly well.  

    The Scouts BSA girls from other troops we saw at summer camp were also wearing 2-digit numbers, not four-digit numbers.

    The leading digit did show up on a troop-listing I saw at roundtable.   It made it easy to pick the girls troops out of the list.  

    Don't use the long version if you can help it.   My daughter had 5-digit numbers in GSUSA.  Expensive to buy all the patches for the uniform.  Hard to sew on straight.  The kids and the adults had trouble remembering the number so they referred to the troops by alternate designations (eg "Smith School Brownie Troop") The number was meaningless to them.


  13. 5 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    In TM you can just use the BOR date and it back fills all the other dates.

    Does this give any trouble down the road for requirements, such as 1st class 8a which says "After completing Second Class 7a, be physicaly active at lest 30 minutes each day for five days a week for four weeks."  ?  Since the 1st class BOR date and the 2nd class BOR date can be less than a month apart.

    That is,  could the lack of specific dates in scoutbook cause trouble when a scout is trying to become an eagle scout?

  14. We are having the scouts use their handbooks as the primary means of recording sign-offs.   Then the advancment coordinator is entering this into scoutbook when each rank is completed.   It seems absolutely simplest to simply put in the date of completion of the rank as a whole.   Is there any need to list the dates each sub-requirment was completed?  (to list dates for 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, etc, separetly?)  That would be a lot more work for the advancment coordinator.

  15. On 1/29/2020 at 12:06 PM, Eagledad said:

    . . . My definition of Personal Growth . . .

    Thanks,  Barry,  that whole post is very helpful. 

    I have been appreciating your taking the time and effort to answer my questions.   Not just this one,  but the previous ones,  also.

    • Upvote 1

  16. You could pack in a dozen girls in sleeping bags into one of those tents -- not much space for gear, and would step on each other if they needed to get up to go to the latrine in the middle of the night.   But for summer camp (1 - 2 weeks long)  they give the girls more space per person.   Makes a more harmonious fortnight, probably.

    I've not seen electric outlets in a GS tent in the camps I've seen.

  17. 27 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    Since the start of my adult scouting experience, I felt I was fighting against National's vision for scouts. Luckily for me, I had the BSA's Vision and Mission Statements to support my personal vision and the Aim and Methods to support how I steered the program. I never felt that National supported personal growth at any age level of the program.

    Hi @Eagledad,

    At least you weren't up against GSUSA's current vision for scouting.   "Civic action" is the current push, there:  https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/girl-scouts-and-civic-engagement/forgirls.html    Goes right along with their current "Journeys" program.

    My reaction to the Aims and Methods of BSA, when I first encourtered them,  was that that was the first time I had seen that all so neatly set out and carefully thought through.  Many of those ideas do go right back (in some form) to the early days of scouting and are (historically at least) present in other branches of scouting.  (Citizenship?  yup.   Outdoors?  yup.  Patrols?  yup.   GSUSA had them, at least at one time.)

    But the one of the  BSA Methods that I still feel that I don't have a good understanding of is "Personal Growth".   I am still a little fuzzy on what falls under this concept (as opposed to under some of the other methods).   So, Barry,  now that you have mentioned "personal growth",  how would you define this or explain this?   How did you use this method with your scouts?


  18. 2 hours ago, qwazse said:

    The GS camps that I've visited sleep dozens to a tent.


    The ordinary style of GSUSA platform tent that I have seen in multiple states in multiple decades sleeps typically 4  (or 5) on cots.

    Of course some camps don't use those in all their units.    I believe that one of the camps in our council has some yurts.

    • Upvote 1

  19. 16 hours ago, Liz said:

    assume they meant 24 months. This also makes it simpler because you won't have kids who are eligible or not eligible to tent together at different times based on whether they've had their birthday yet this year or not. 


    8 hours ago, elitts said:

    How does using 24 months make it simpler though?

    I agree with Liz.

    If Sally and Susy are 25 months apart in age, they can NEVER tent together.

    If Sally and Sarah are 23 months apart in age, YPT age rules ALWAYS permit them to tent together.

    It doesn't change month by month.  The kids can easily figure out who in their patrols they can tent with.  And it is the same for the next camping trip, also.

    But it does mean that a barely 11-year-old cannot tent with an older 13-year-old.

    • Upvote 2

  20. 25 minutes ago, yknot said:

    It doesn't help that so much of the program revolves around food or requires group cooking. One way of handling it as noted is to require the parent to attend and for the scout to bring their own food. However, this also kind of isolates the scout and prevents the rest of the pack/troop from really comprehending the issues.

    The kid I knew that had the most severe food issues  decided to focus on extra-curricular activities that did not involve eating together.   (Cross-contamination with multiple very common foods needed to be avoided.  Nothing so easy as avoiding peanuts and treenuts.)

    Fortunately with my current troop, none of the scouts with dietary restrictions need to worry about cross-contamination or trace quantities.   Makes life much much easier.

  21. 23 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    dietary restrictions

    Dietary restrictions are a complicated topic.

    One-pot meals make one kind of problem.     Buffet-style serving is a different type of problem, due to cross contamination.    Both have issues with ignorance on the part of people who think that they are preparing allergen-free meals, but are not doing it competently.

    I think that dietary restrictions have to be handled on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity of the issue.   Definitely get that scout,  or the parents of that scout,  involved in the planning.   In some cases the only way for a kid to be confident that he can eat safely, is for him to bring his own food and prepare it himself.


    • Upvote 1
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