Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. The relevant section of the GTA is Limited Recourse for Unearned Merit Badges



    In most cases, with a fair and friendly approach, a Scout who did not complete the requirements will admit it. Short of this, however, if it remains clear under the circumstances that some or all of the requirements could not have been met, then the merit badge is not reported or awarded, and does not count toward advancement. The unit leader then offers the name of at least one other merit badge counselor through whom any incomplete requirements may be finished. Note that in this case a merit badge is not “taken away” because, although signed off, it was never actually earned.

    This is all theoretical to me.   You'll need to have someone else tell you how to handle the angry parent.

  2. 7 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

    I wonder if the people running this program are aware of the longstanding policy of the BSA in not wanting its programs to be "military" in nature - or maybe that policy doesn't exist anymore?


    2 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

    Sea scouts wear what are effectively Navy E6 and below dress whites.  What's to object to?  I think these boys look damn sharp.

    Why be sensitive to appearing too highly militaristic?

    Let's see . . . a British army officer and war hero writes a book "Aids to Scouting", for soliders, and finds that it has become popular with boys.  He had observed the poor quality of army recruits, and seen a need for better training for the ordinary youth of the nation. He thinks that scouting as an outdoor game for boys could help them grow into good citizens, and to that end writes "Scouting for Boys", emphasizing that the boys will be "peace scouts" rather than soldiers.

    Still, some people thought that Boy Scouts might be too militaristic, coming too close to training boys to be soldiers.  And the fear was not irrational: indeed the Hitler Youth borrowed aspects of the boy scout program as it trained boy soldiers.

    No wonder BSA today still avoids the appearance of militarism -- even down to the extreme of banning water guns.  

    So, yes, military Explorers is surprising.

    • Upvote 1
  3. 14 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    Just out of curiosity, how restrictive ARE the safety guidelines used in Girl Scouts?

    The "Volunteer Essentials" document seems to be customized by council -- so that different councils have slightly different rules.

    GSUSA does not seem to be either uniformly more restrictive or uniformly less restrictive than BSA.

    Based on my memory from a couple of years ago, I few differences that I have noted are:

    GSUSA is more persnickety about the two-deep rule.  They require two UNRELATED registered adults.  Cannot be mom and grandma, or mom and aunt, supervising a troop.   BSA, on the other hand, does not seem to require the two-deep adults to be unrelated --- this makes things much simpler.  One can press one's spouse into serving as a second adult, rather than needing to round up someone else.  (assuming said spouse is registered.)

    GSUSA does not have a no-one-on-one contact rule. (or at least my council did not a couple of years ago.)

    GSUSA does not prohibit Brownies from using two-wheel or four-wheeled wagons.  Indeed the local summer camp provides such carts for the little kids to use to haul their gear to their summer camp units.

    GSUSA requires a lifeguard for all swimming.  (We had to hire a lifeguard for an end-of-year backyard pool party.  Fortunately my favorite baby-sitter was also a lifeguard.)

    And adult driving scouts somewhere on a GSUSA outing or field trip must be registered and CORI'd.

    Which brings me to:

    5 hours ago, Cleveland Rocks said:

    The minimum number of volunteers rule tends to be a sticky wicket with a lot of troop leaders, and they tell me it's why they keep their troop membership numbers low, so they don't have to worry about having enough registered volunteers with them on activities.

    Going from twelve Brownies to thirteen Brownies was very tough as far as getting adult volunteers for field trips -- and we met after school on the half day and liked to go places.   With 12 Brownies, two registered CORI'd adults were enough for an outing, and the Brownies could walk from the school to the conservation land, the firestation, the police station, or the library.   As long as the second registered CORI'd adult also had a minivan, two adults could drive them to the scout camp,  the museum, or wherever else.  Once we reached 13 Brownies we needed a third registered CORI'd adult,  even for the walk to the conservation land -- hard to round one up for 1pm on a weekday.

  4. 1 hour ago, SteveMM said:

    I guess what I'm saying is that the Girl Scouts *could* have filled the needs of girls who want to do high adventure stuff ... it just appears they didn't.

    Within the bounds of safety guidelines, Girl Scout troops can do pretty much anything they want to.   There are no rank advancement requirments requiring specific activities. 

    The big problem is how to find that group of like-minded girls.  

    The special interest "high-adventure" type groups are better than nothing,  but when the girls are scattered over half a state, and the meetings are by conference call, its just not the same as a troop that meets regularly.   (Maybe other groups do it differently, but that is what I am aware of in my state.)


    • Upvote 1
  5. 2 hours ago, Double Eagle said:

    From the sounds of this thread (pun intended), we need a 139th merit badge of "Sewing", and make it a required one

    It would be politically inexpedient to introduce one within the next few years.  People would complain that the girls are changing the program.

    Of course, to be able to sew on a button,  restitich a seam that has come loose,  and hem a pair of pants is really really useful for almost anyone.   To take a tuck in a waistband, to replace an elastic or zipper, or to make a costume for a special event -- also handy.    I was disappointed that GSUSA doesn't include sewing in its badges the way it used it.

  6. 12 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    5. If a commercial product is to be sold, will it be sold on its own merits and without reference to the needs of Scouting? All commercial products must sell on their own merits, not the benefit received by the Boy Scouts. The principle of value received is critical in choosing what to sell.

    Soooooo, you're telling me that popcorn is actually *WORTH* the ridiculously inflated prices shown in the Trails End catalog?  If it weren't for the promised "benefit to the Boy Scouts", would ANYBODY ever buy so much as a kernel of the stuff?   

    It's not just an issue with Trails End popcorn.  Same issue with Girl Scout Cookies.  And the candybars that the sports teams sell.  Etc. Etc. Etc.    It seems like these sorts of fundraisers are teaching the kids to beg.

    One of the troops in our town has a really great fundraiser.  Collecting and disposing of Christmas Trees after Christmas.   It seems that no-one else provides this service and it is valued by its customers -- at least every year on the neighborhood email list some neighbor starts asking about who they can contact to haul away their tree.

    Do y'all have more ideas of great fundraisers that provide useful services that people want?   

  7. For Scouts BSA only the Key 3 can update the Troop's info.   I assume that for a Pack it is similarly the Key 3  (COR, CC, CM)

    If you are one of the Key 3, then log into my.scouting.org.   Go to Menu --> Legacy Web Tools --> Beascout.  This should let you edit the pin. The changes will not show up immediately, but will appear by the next day.   

    If I remember right, one of the things you need to set is the option that makes the pin visible.

  8. 16 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

    "Only non-scouts, non-scouters or guests who are being encouraged to become Leaders or Scouts are automatically covered while in attendance at a meeting or unit activity or while traveling as a group to or from such an activity. No other guests are covered."

    Great.  And is there a place on a BSA website where I could find this?    And yes we are encouraging all new scout families to have a parent sign up for some position in the troop (committee member or . . . )

  9. Resurrecting an old thread to ask a related question . . .

    Our troop would like to invite a couple of prospective scouts on an outing.  (They've attended one troop meeting this week, but not yet made up their minds whether to join.)   Outing would be an easy bike ride -- a few miles on a suburban bike trail (rail trail) to the ice cream shop and back.   It seems like a good way for a prospective scout, accompanied by a parent, to get acquainted with the scouts in the troop.  (And most kids in our town own bikes and know how to ride them.)

    But . . . our committee chair is not sure that inviting a prospective scout on an outing (even accompanied by a parent) is permissible.   Can you point me to something in writing by BSA talking about this situation?

    I see this for venturing  ( https://www.scouting.org/programs/venturing/crew-resources/recruiting/ ) which clearly talks about inviting prospective Venturers on "Tier I" outings.  But what about Scouts BSA?


  10. On 9/4/2019 at 2:35 AM, WAKWIB said:

    In our council, the girls who participated in our summer camp program loved it to the max, and we changed absolutely nothing about it.  We were quite surprised

    Our girls troop went to summer camp, and absolutely loved it, and it did not surprise me one bit.   Remember, BSA scouts, especially the girls, are self-selecting.

    On 9/3/2019 at 4:38 PM, Jackdaws said:

    But kids now days are not interested in outdoor stuff. 

    Some are, some aren't.  BSA is a good organization for the kids that are.   Some kids may find a better fit in a different youth-serving organization. 

    • Like 1
  11. I like the sign-offs in their handbooks -- not only can they see what they have completed,  it also puts the record keeping responsibility on the scout. 

    I'd also like to keep personal electronic devices from intruding too much on outings.  Sign offs in scout handbooks don't require getting out someones cell phone.

    I have seen that not everyone has the same opinion I have.


    • Upvote 2
  12. 3 hours ago, qwazse said:

    If you're wrong, your UC can amend it.

    Sounds good.

    Common sense would say to compare the scouts on the end-of-2019 recharter with the scouts on the 1 February 2019 initial charter, and we can go with that, even though that is not how the Journey to Excellence scorecard actually says to calculate it.  (If I read it correctly, JTE wants a comparison of Dec 31, 2018 with Dec 31, 2017, which seems odd.)

  13. I was looking over the JTE scorecard as my troop was thinking about plans for the coming year.  It puzzles me as to how to apply "retention" to a brand-new all-girl troop with a charter year ending in December.   The percentage retention is to be calculated as


    Number of youth members on the most recent charter renewal (A) divided by the number of youth registered at the end of the prior
    charter year (B) minus any age-outs (C). Total = (A) / (B-C). Age-outs are youth who are too old to reregister as Scouts. If the troop has a
    December charter, use the one expiring on December 31, 2018; otherwise use the one expiring during 2019.

    Percentage is thus (0-0)/0  

    If dividing by zero is bad, then dividing zero by zero is even worse!

    Does this mean that this is one less category available in which new troops can earn points?

    We already have enough points for bronze, but might not have enough categories (objectives).

  14. 2 hours ago, scotteg83 said:

    So if they are a very small kid, and and probably will never grow bigger then a L tshirt size, get the smaller one.

    If they are already in the L+ shirt size as a crossover, get them the large size.

    Do you mean Men's Large?  (as opposed to Youth Large.)

  15. 10 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    Waddaya got against Bacon Ninjas?

    Ok, we have wandered way off topic . . .    But from my adult and female point of view, it seems like giving one's patrol a joke name might go along with treating the patrol idea as a joke.   Of course, I've never been an 11-year-old boy, nor are there any such in my troop.    For the girls at least I'd like to see a certain amount of pride in their patrols -- and along with that goes choosing a good name.

  16. 11 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

    Yep, and the existing leadership seems not only VERY competent, they also seem to be very like-minded. I have been very pleased with all of the leadership so far and the methods and techniques used that have been new to my experience.

    Keep in mind that enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn, combined with a willingness to work hard and put in ample time, can go a long way.   These are no substitute for experience, but for any CC, there was a first time when they took the job without prior experience.

    Who would do the CC job if you don't?   If there is not another obvious candidate, that can increase the other scouter's and troop families' willingness to put up with your learning on the job.   

    Mind you, I am not a CC.   I did jump into a role with my daughter's new troop for which I have the training but not the experience.   Am learning as I go.   The troop is far from a perfect troop, but it is *much* better than no troop (which is what the girls had before 1 February) and is improving as the scouts and the adults learn their roles.

  17. Great news that your daughter has a troop.   Last thing I remember you saying on the subject was "Don't ask".

    Now for the pressing question:  Did she convince her patrol mates to be the Artemis Patrol and use that great patrol patch she designed?  or did they talk her into something else?    ( It seems to me that the incoming girls have a great opportunity to raise the standard on patrol names and patches. )

    Keep in mind that as CC, being one of the key three, you will be in a position to positively influence the new troop.   Having a brother troop, you will have experienced scouters nearby when you need to ask questions.

  18. 1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

    When done, the scout hands in the troop's portion for the troop to keep

    I think that the original question was "How long should a Troop hold on to the troop's third of the blue card, after the scout has completed the merit badge?"

    Until the scout ages out of scouting?

    • Upvote 1
  19. @sst3rd you meant "scout troop for girls" not "girls scout troop"   (since GSUSA is suing BSA over this issue)

    Having just gotten a new troop started I agree about the getting out camping first.   And actually (this advice was from @Eagledad) the early troop meeting activities can be preparing or developing skills for those first outings.

    Eventually they will realize they need a patrol name in order to make Scout rank -- that can wait until they realize it.

    35 minutes ago, sst3rd said:

    Only start the troop (boys and/or girls) when you know you have the resources set.

    Once you have five enthusiastic girls eager to get started, then start the girls troop -- don't make them wait any longer.    Gradually the other things will begin to get sorted out, or if not you will improvise.

  20. On 8/3/2019 at 12:22 PM, Eagledad said:

    Ask each scout 3 things they learned at the course that they would like to try in the troop.

    In your experience, does this work best to ask each scout individually,  or to get them all together (the scouts from the troop who went through NYLT together) so that they can hear each others' answers?    Negatively, all together, and the quieter ones might just follow the lead of the more dominant.  Positively, all together and they may build on each others' ideas.

  21. On 8/3/2019 at 8:01 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Here is a link to the 2014 Syllabus

    Thanks.  That was very helpful.

    On 8/3/2019 at 8:01 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

    1. Make sure the PLC is meeting on a regular basis to plan and prepare. You would be surprised at the number of troops that do not do this.

    The troop  has been having a 1x/month PLC meeting. Seems not enough.  We may need to add the 15-minute mini-meeting ("huddle"?) prior to each troop meeting.  And also the post-troop-meeting brief PLC meeting.  Opinions?  

    On 8/3/2019 at 8:01 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

    go through Wood Badge

    Am signed up for one in about half a years' time.   But there will be a few months until then.

  • Create New...