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cmd

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Everything posted by cmd

  1. I'm wondering how people handle the end of the year ceremony when there are boys who haven't completed the necessary requirements to earn their rank. I know you don't just pass them along and give ranks that aren't earned. But the way that the program is structured, they boys DO move up to the next level regardless of whether they've completed their current rank or not. It's not clear to me how much of the ceremony is about the earned rank and how much is about "and now, you're a Bear!" We have at least one boy, possibly three, moving into our pack this month from a group that sounds like it hasn't done much this year at all. I'm still waiting on records from the other pack to see whether it's feasible to try to help them complete all their Wolf requirements, but with only two months to go, and the rest of the den done with all of the required beltloops, getting these guys caught up seems like a real long shot. Trying to figure out where the balance lies between keeping these guys excited to come back for next year and making sure the kids who earn their rank are appropriately recognized. Thanks!
  2. cmd

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    ParkMan, Would you be willing to share the script you used for the face painting?
  3. cmd

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    I actually think that this pack is operating so far outside of the way the program is designed, that it might not be having the effect on the boys that everyone is suggesting. It seems like it has gone all the way past "being handed a rank you don't deserve" to just being handed a piece of fabric to put on your shirt to identify how old you are. It's lost all connection to being an earned rank, so probably bears the same weight to the boys as getting a different colored neckerchief. And I'm guessing that if this has been going on for a while, the troops in your area must be used to starting things off with a speech about "This isn't cub scouts anymore. In Boy Scouts you have to EARN your ranks." Boys can join Boy Scouts without ever having been a cubscout at all, or having been one and never earning any rank, so having a pack that doesn't adequately prepare kids for Boy Scouts shouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker. That said, I don't understand what to appeal is to do it this way. It sounds like after you hand out the rank patches, you do finish out the year working out of the same handbook you started in the fall and try to fulfill the requirements for something the kids already have been given. That seems pointless to me. To the kids' perspective are they just earning beltloops and unaware of the connection between some of them and the rank? Are the beltloops being honestly earned? That would be something that you can do as "just" a den leader, despite the overall pack culture. Normally, I would think that at some point the kids would notice that the handbook says one thing and they are doing another - but with the current requirements already not matching the handbook, one more thing that doesn't line up will hardly be noticed.
  4. cmd

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    There's really surprisingly little overlap. When I was looking at trying to incorporate our one Bear into a den of Wolves this fall, it looked like there was actually more overlap between the Bear and Tiger activities. I think they must have been trying to avoid kids doing the same activities two years in a row so they spaced similar topics a couple of years apart. I also feel bad that I didn't realize that in the beginning. Last year when the Tigers were picking an elective to work on, I told them not to worry too much because they had many years of cub scouts ahead of them and would get to pick again next year. Then found out that it would be years before there was another chance for, say, an astronomy achievement. I just assumed there would be harder, but similar, options in the other ranks. Oops.
  5. cmd

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    Even if they meet as a single den, though, they can still only earn the awards designated for their grade, right? I can understand not wanting kids rushing through and thinking they should be able to complete Arrow of Light and move up to Boy Scouts ahead of schedule, or having kids working on things that are far too easy for them, but it would make the logistics of a multi-grade den so much easier if there were flexibility for kids to earn recognitions designed for their grade or one grade higher. Or their own grade plus one lower. It just makes no sense for everyone in the den to do the same activities and some of them to earn a beltloop and others not. I can see how to explain it to the older kids - it makes sense they aren't getting one because the work didn't stretch them the way that it did younger kids. But explaining to younger kids who participated right alongside the older ones why the older kids are receiving an award for something the younger ones just did for fun, that seems trickier. I'm hopeful that the addition of girls will mean that enough packs are suddenly dealing with mixed-age dens that the program will become a little more in tune with that scenario, whether those dens are boys or girls.
  6. cmd

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    It would be nice if there were the possibility of some flexibility in that regard, as some people were interpreting it, especially as girls begin joining this year. Our pack currently looks like it may be forming a girls 4th & 5th grade Webelos Den - it would be really nice if they had the option of working on the Webelos rank together. I don't think we'll have enough of either grade to separate them. Really, it would be nice if they could offer a two year range of ages for all the ranks. We have several packs in our area, and there's a pretty obvious pattern of people joining the pack that makes sense for their neighborhood & schedule, then realizing there are only one or two boys in their grade, and they move to a different pack. Then we get more kids wanting to join, who learn there aren't any others their age, then go to the other pack. Then repeat a couple more times for that grade. Meanwhile, the next grade, we're the receiving pack and end up absorbing the kids from the neighboring one. If we had the option of just including the lone Wolf or two in with the Tigers AND having them actually working toward beltloops at meetings, then they might stick around long enough to still be part of the pack when other kids their age are looking to join.
  7. cmd

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    We've been doing them at pack meeting for exactly that reason. But... there were some issues earlier in the year with kids thinking that they had earned thiings because they had been at the meeting where MOST of the requirements were completed, but missed the meeting when we wrapped up one or two last things. If we had awarded them at the time they were completed, we would have avoided that confusion. Last time we went to the store, we did pick up enough of the required ones to finish out the year, but hate to do too much of that since we still have old pins and beltloops for achievements that no longer exist.
  8. cmd

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    I'm not too concerned about the badge, but the pack has a tradition of doing the face painting type of moving up ceremony, which the boys really look forward to, and all the scripts I've found for that are definitely "you've done all these things to earn your rank" and not "welcome to the next level", and an unpainted face would stand out and not in a good way. But I think I've figured it out. Other than one kid who I think has probably quit, the boys likely to not have time to make rank are all new additions, not kids who just didn't show. They will have all earned their Bobcat rank this year, so I think making a big deal about how glad we are that they decided to join us on this path then a little paint just for the new recruits should do the trick. (even if they've already gotten the badge itself before then)
  9. cmd

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    This is exactly my angle on it, too. Others in the pack, though, lean pretty heavily toward ceremony, and with all of the points in training about making to sure to publicly recognize the kids for all of their achievements, ideally involving parents, asking them to come up and stand with their kids as they receive the award, etc, I'm even more outnumbered. I've been planning on working on the "give the kids the new neckerchiefs now" angle since that's such a nice tangible way of marking that the new year is starting now, and summer is a part of it. The pack doesn't have a strong history of summer activities, which I'm hoping to change this year. The pack covers the cost of neckerchiefs and books, though, and uses that as motivation to get people to turn in their registrations, so that might be a hurdle to get past. For the record, I'm not talking about any awards at Blue & Gold. Ours is a party, albeit a rather formal one for my tastes, but it did have a magician! Just trying to figure out the logistics of kids who join in March and how much it's realistic to try to do in the two to three months left in the year. I like the idea of having kids get their Wolf patch as soon as they have completed the requirements instead of waiting until the end, since that also makes the ones who don't earn it not such the odd men out if they don't get one at the end of year event.
  10. cmd

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    I think part of the reason that I'm confused is because they are multiple things and the term Rank seems to be used to mean both the award and which grade den you belong to. Boys move up to the next level regardless of whether they complete the previous rank.
  11. cmd

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    Wow! Thanks for all of the responses! I feel like this SHOULDN'T be a big deal, but I'm finding that there are lots of things that I can't imagine someone caring about that they really, really do. I switched packs this year, from one that interprets "end of school year" literally (June 20ish, here!) to one that uses May 31 as the end, and has traditionally done the bridging at the May pack meeting. So, I was thinking these boys would have 3 months to try to finish everything, if that was something they cared about, and found out just this week that we have just over 2 months between now and the crossover. Eep. That means taking a pair of scissors to some of the elective stuff I thought the den was going to get done, too! The information about flexibility in deadline is helpful. My main concern is the Howling at the Moon campfire requirements and camping. We're trying to get another camping trip lined up for this year, but it would be either late May or June, so after our bridging. My guess would be that if they don't get the rank patch at the same time the other boys earn it, they won't care two weeks later and just won't earn it, but extending the deadline helps put a "haven't finished it YET" spin on it in the moment instead of feeling like they failed. And helps me feel like we did our part trying to offer a reasonable path to reach that goal if it's something they care about. So, something like the face painting for each rank - that would be tied to the den the child is entering, not the rank earned? I'm not sure whether this is exactly the script followed in our pack, but something along these lines http://www.scoutorama.com/ceremony/ceremony_display.cfm?cer_id=24 Thanks!
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