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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    I was thinking about that for my orienteering club. Instead of punching in. Take a selfie of yourself with the control.

    The New England Orienteering Club is doing something like this.  "Stay tuned . . . as we work with land managers and club volunteers to implement a number of bring-your-own-map events. Participants will be able to navigate around a course on their own time to minimize interactions."    https://newenglandorienteering.org/news/1082-orienteering-during-the-covid-19-outbreak

  2. 54 minutes ago, swilliams said:

    son also started an online merit badge class with Central Florida Council...


    54 minutes ago, swilliams said:

    I don't see this being any kind of long-term solution.  Or even more than a one week novelty.  Online classes and meetings, imho, are not going to be enough to keep scouts scouting

    Thanks for your description of how the online class format worked.

    My council is also pushing online merit badge classes, and I am a little skeptical.

    On the other hand,  my daughter started a new merit badge.  Spent an hour conversing one-on-one by phone with the merit badge counselor who is an older adult who lives in our neighborhood.   It looks like it is going to be a really good experience. (Because of YPT she put the phone of speaker phone,  so I could listen in.)   Of course there are a couple of steps that she won't be able to finish until the quarantine is over,  but a great deal of the work on this badge can be done at home.  

    Rather that push for online mert badge classes,  I am trying (with not a lot of success) to have self-motivated scouts take initiative and work rather independently on merit badges.

    • Upvote 2
  3. 6 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

    I have no thoughts of having meetings anytime soon.  I was hoping to not YET give up on this scout year.

    Looking on the bright side of things,  I am trying to encourage my scouts to take initiative on merit badge work,  and find things they are interested in doing rather independently while at home.   Maybe we can get away from a "merit badge class" mindset - which is unfortunately the mindset of the boys' troop to which we are linked.   Even if a scout cannot complete all the steps of a particular merit badge class, there are a lot of steps of a lot of badges that can be done quite well at home, and there is a lot of "discuss" interaction with a merit badge counselor that can be done by  telephone (or by whatever one's preferred electronic communication system is).

    • Upvote 3
  4. 12 minutes ago, atrox79 said:

    During the PLC, they do a good job of discussing joint events together, but if it only involves the girls troop, the boys will give input, but will not be able to vote.  If it only involves the boys troop, the girls can give input, but cannot vote (same goes with OA elections as the girls cannot vote in the boys OA elections as they are not members of that troop and vice versa).    

    That sounds like our joint committee meetings for our linked troops  (some committee members are on just one committee,  some are on the other committee, and some are on both).  There has been good and bad:  good the girl's troop committee members can learn from the boys troop, and the boys troop commiteee members can hear what the girls troop is doing.  Bad:  the committee meetings are taking way way too long, and I feel like some of the girls troop issues are getting squeezed out.    

    Fortuntaley for us the girls troop PLC and the boys troop PLC meet separately, and can plan their own things,  and the smaller troop's concerns do not get squeezed out in that setting.

    16 minutes ago, atrox79 said:

    If we had more girls, we wouldn't do the linked troops model and, eventually, that is what we are hoping for.

    You can go ahead and start with separate PLC meetings now  (or at the time of the next election.)    You can do this,  even if the girls troop is a single patrol.  PLC meeting is PL, APL,  any of the other POR deemed necessary, and any scout in that tiny troop who wants to get involved in the planning.

    • Upvote 1
  5. 18 minutes ago, atrox79 said:

    We never had an issue for the past year when there was a boy SPL running the troop

    My understanding is that the big concern is that boy troop and the girl troop are each to have its own leadership structure.   Because girls and boys don't mature in the same ways at the same rate.

    With one girl patrol, the girl troop (which was a single patrol)  did not need an SPL.  With three boy patrols, the boy troop needed an SPL.   But now you have it backwards.  

    4 hours ago, atrox79 said:

    we had a girl run for SPL and she won.  Actually, none of the boys wanted to run against her because she is that respected in the Troop

    That is precisely the problem.   The boys are missing out on an opportunity here.

    • Upvote 1
  6. 8 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

    If Venturing -- fully co-ed, uniforms optional, no patrols, no ranks, awards optional -- is a program that has real value and is a great alternative to ScoutsBSA, why not make it available to younger boys and girls, as an alternative to ScoutsBSA starting right after Cub Scouts?  Have an age-appropriate Junior Venturing program that takes the youth through 8th grade, then they graduate into the high school-and-beyond Venturing program. By stripping away many of the complicated features of ScoutsBSA, Venturing gets down to the essence of Scouting:  planning and doing things that require learning skills, and growing through failure and success. As @desertrat77 stated, "Simple and complex at the same time.   When it works, it is scouting at its very best." 

    Sometimes the additional structure can be helpful to those who are inexperienced.   That is why I prefer the ScoutsBSA program to a hypothetical "Junior Venturing" program.


  7. 3 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

    Any need for Venturing?  Is there anything in the Venturing program not already available in ScoutsBSA?

    I am more familiar with Scouts than Venturing, but I think these are some differences:

    Scouts BSA:  single gender troops.     Venturing:  Coed

    Scouts BSA:  wears uniforms.                Venturing:  uniform is optional

    Scouts BSA:   patrol method including patrol names,  flags,  yells         Venturing:   doesn't have this

    Scouts BSA:  very structure rank advancment program                Venturing:   advancment seems not to be a big deal

    If you have a scout who (a) wants to be in a fully coed group (b) despises the unifrom  (c) cannot stand rah rah of patrol spirit items  and (d) would rather be able to ignore the old-fashioned stuff in the rank advancment program  ---  then maybe that scout would be a happier fit as a Venturer.     Especially if said scout loves backpacking, canoeing, etc, etc.

  8. Thank you very much.   Your replies have been helpful.

    My troop botched the card for one of our Tenderfeet, and it was not noticed until very shortly before time to hand the scout the card and patch.   I think I will ask the scout whether she wants a correct card to save, or whether she does not care.

  9. 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?


  10. 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.).



  12. 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.

  13. 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
  14. 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.

  15. 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. 

  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.


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