Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by cmd

  1. 4 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    You can go into Scoutbook and run a report for the Den and just the adventure you are working on that meeting and then print that.


    That's what I've been doing but it's not as easy as the Trax sheets were.

  2. 1 hour ago, AwakeEnergyScouter said:

    Oh, this is fantastic! Thank you so much! The question of skill progression is not my forte - I have no background in early childhood education - so having some guidance of what you can expect is so helpful! I will see what we can do with this. I see you can get orienteering kits online and we also have a club in town whose white course we might be able to borrow. 

    Thank you 🙏

    I think another fun orienteering-based activity would be to take a hike and do a scavenger hunt along the way for features that would be listed on a map: old stone wall, streambed, large rootstock, lone tree, reentrant, etc.  If you can get a trail map, even if it isn't a topo one, they could draw in the symbols that correspond to those features.  Or even without a map, just have some large copies of the symbols and when they find something that is represented in the list show you the symbol.

    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 1
  3. My first time through cubs, I used the CubTrax spreadsheets to track advancement.  
    This time, I've been trying to use Scoutbook, but having to have an electronic device open during the meeting just isn't working for me.  I really miss the way that I used to print out selected pages of the spreadsheet and use it as a paper tracker.  Went to go try to grab the Tiger one and the link no longer works.  
    Any chance someone has one of these kicking around that they could remove all identifying info from and share with me?

  4. On 3/9/2023 at 4:05 PM, AwakeEnergyScouter said:

    A bit off topic at this point, but I would love to beta test that orienteering lesson with my wolf-soon-to-be-bear den. We just did Finding Your Way and they loved it, so I see an opportunity to feed that beast with orienteering. I'm not an expert myself, just loved orienteering in gym class, so would love a plan to execute... Plus an excuse to go trail running 😇

    I haven't even started planning it, but here are a couple of resources I have:
    https://www.floridaorienteering.org/tutorial/littletroll.htm - this is a progressive program that we did with my kids when they were little.  It no longer exists, but explains what it was like while it was supported.
      - another good progression with additional information on setting up training sites, preparing to go to a meet, etc 

    • Thanks 1
  5. 35 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    I teach map and compass skills, and an Orienteering MB counselor, among other things.  @cmd gives perfect advice...

    Mind if I private message you for some tips?  My husband has been asked to become an Orienteering MB counselor and is totally new to any MBC role or even observing how such a thing works.  And I've got writing a cub-level (or just "beginner" for any age) orienteering lesson to offer our camp on my list of things to do as soon as I finish my Woodbadge ticket.  Why did all the ideas of things I really want to fix come to me AFTER I filled out that ticket paperwork?  

    • Upvote 1
  6. 17 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    BTW... I let Scouts climb trees if their parent is present, they give permission, and I have another adult witness.  I also tell the parent that BSA prohibits the activity, I do not assume any responsibility or risk, and that insurance will not cover a fall.  They assume the risk. 😜

    This reminds me of a hike we (family) went on in Hawaii. We had a printed guidebook that told us where it was and to ignore the no trespassing signs and just climb over the fence.  Sounded sketchy, but you could see that the grass was well-traveled, so we did it.  Followed the path around the bend and as soon as we were out of sight of the road, there was a clear sign saying "waterfall 3 miles" and showing us the way to go.   After going to the waterfall and back, I understood why they'd try to avoid liability for hikers, though.  Had to cross a stream that was a trickle on the way there and waist-deep on the way back.

    • Upvote 1
  7. 7 minutes ago, sierracharliescouter said:

    Bears using hand saws.

    And someone explain why Lions and Tigers are shown as "map only" when it comes to map and compass. Is there some conspiracy I haven't heard of that makes using a compass dangerous?

    Also, poor relativistic risk assessment, such as Lions and Tigers allowed to do bouldering, but not other activities with similar or higher risk factors.

    I think the map only piece is an excellent GUIDELINE. Our local camp has a permanent orienteering course and they have camp rangers available to teach kids how to use map and compass to find the controls. Cubs are welcome, but it's the same explanation whether you're in 1st grade or 10th.  Explaining how a topo map works and maybe using a compass to orient the map if there aren't clear enough landmarks to go by, then trying to follow the map alone would have been far more age-appropriate.  That said, as a member of the local orienteering club, I would argue that it's also how you should start out with the 10th grader, too, and not introduce sighting and finer details of compass work until they could read the map easily. In our area, it's actually pretty rare to need more than a properly oriented map. If that's the kind of course your scouts are on, it's going to seem like an especially useless skill.  I'd been orienteering several years before finally doing a 6 hour meet in an area with no trails and lots of impassable areas and it finally made sense to me why someone would need it! 

    One could argue that not teaching them to use a compass is a safety issue because having one discourages you from really reading the map closely, and that's the more important survival, but it's a real stretch.  I think it's really one of those "overwhelming little kids is bad for retention" arguments - when underwhelming them is twice as bad. 

    Or it might be a "save stuff for them to learn at the troop level" but orienteering was the lesson used to teach the EDGE method in my IOLS class and they were doing it completely wrong while stressing the importance of not stepping in and correcting the youth unless it was a safety issue.  I asked how the next kids were supposed to teach it correctly if they'd been taught wrong and the answer was that hopefully before teaching it they'd get a book out to refresh themselves and notice the error. WHAT?? I'd rather my child not be taught wrong things in the first place.  You know what's going to kill a youth's self-esteem and perceived value of scouting even faster than having an adult gently correct a youth instructor who misspoke? Having a scout go home excited and try to share his new knowledge and have someone not-so-gently tell him he's wrong. 

    • Like 1
  8. 10 hours ago, Mrjeff said:

    My whole point is that the little guyes should do little guy stuff and when they to become a Boy Scout they get to do Boy Scout stuff.

    What is "little guy stuff"? The crafts that people always complain about when they say how awful cub scouts is and that everyone should just skip over it and wait until they can start real scouts? 

    Our area has a youth activities fair at the school open house and we're able to have a recruiting b table there.  I see a LOT of disdain there from former cub scouts who don't see the point of signing up for their kid to sit in a church basement and do crafts.  If they stick around long enough for us explain that we DO camp and have campfires and hike then sometimes we get a really great leader out of them.  

    I personally wouldn't have even considered paying $100+ for a cub scout experience that didn't include me finally having other families to go camping with. 

  9. 4 hours ago, curious_scouter said:

     have only used it for one unit, but Troop Web Host seems to have features in it for multi unit management.  Worth a look.

    Thanks.  The charter org is pushing us to just make a google calendar to reserve the space, but it's hard enough getting the correct time on things in ONE calendar.  I guarantee we'll have things in the troop calendar at different times from what the room reservation calendar says and that when things get canceled or rescheduled they'll end up staying on the reservation calendar much longer than necessary.  Our units rely on the eBlast feature of our website to communicate upcoming events, so using JUST Google calendars seems like it would be unpopular. 

    If troop web host can help with that it would be amazing. 

  10. Our 3 units (B/G troops + pack) are fortunate to have a dedicated meeting space all our own. Not too long ago, this was the exclusive domain of the boy troop, so tracking who was using it when was a simple matter - just look at the troop calendar. Then they granted more access to the pack, and then added a girl troop. 

    The girl troop was originally set up in the website as a patrol.  Then two patrols with a separate "group" to denote the entire troop.  While they had a joint committee, this sort of made sense.  

    Now it's time for them to stand on their own.  They have their own separate committee and are holding far fewer events jointly with the boys' troop. It's time for the websites to make a break, too.

    The calendar is the main issue we're having with that, but it would be nice to have a community-facing page that highlighted all three of our units. 

    Are there any multi-unit troop management systems out there?

  11. On 2/23/2023 at 12:10 PM, forestcharm5 said:

    I know this is a super old thread but just wanted to say this is so helpful. We're a brand spanking new group of 14 kids and it's a mixed bag, only 4 of the kids are wolf and higher. Even though we meet nearly every week, we still have some time management issues with 14 kids (10 of them neurodivergent). I am fortunate that we have lots of adults willing to help out and a good chunk of parents willing to work on adventures at home as well. 

    It sounds like you're using the mixed-age plans - me too!

    I would have probably been right there with the people saying we don't need to rush through everything if I were only working with one rank, but if you streamline two or more ranks then put them back together again, it starts to fill out again. 

    We're mixing lions and tigers and there's no way we would have been able to pull off the shared leadership model if I didn't have these pre-made plans to hand the parent off the week. 

    Streamlining also means we can get to electives sooner or have time for a swim party when our affiliated troops have the school pool rented for swim tests.  

    We've had a trickle of registration all year, and lost two of the ones who registered back in August. The streamlined model means we're wrapping up our first pass through the required adventures with enough time to take another pass at the ones we did in the fall that most of the current kids missed.

    I think I'll redo some of these for next year so that if an elective is a better match for another rank's required adventure, we'll do those together instead of trying to force two required ones together if they don't fit well, but I'm so grateful to south fulton for making these and giving me a solid place to start! 

  12. 7 hours ago, seattlecyclone said:

    Regarding the ability to go along with Scouts BSA activities, it seems to be saying that the Webelos/AoL dens can stay overnight at troop-coordinated campouts, but can only be day visitors at camporees. Putting these rules together it seems they're saying pack-organized campouts are more risky than council-organized campouts, which are in turn more risky than troop-organized campouts. Make sense to everyone?

    This piece makes sense to me.  Webelos can camp with a Troop, just not at a camporee with potentially a thousand unknown people.

    But then, that's a council-run event, right?  Why are the council-run Scouts BSA events considered more risky, but council-run Cub events are enough safer to be the only acceptable two-night option? 

    • Upvote 1
  13. I'd like more information about the "adventure fee".  That seems a pretty typical cost for most of our council run events.  A little bit lower.  I wonder if they're trying to improve attendance at their council events by making people pay for them whether or not they go.  If that was meant to cover a full year's activities, it wouldn't be a bad price.  If you still need to pay 5 dollars for this and 50 for that all year long, that's a different matter.  Bigger concern to me than the price is the idea that the council might be planning the annual calendar instead of the youth. 

    Raising the new scout fee to $100 is insane.  Recruiting is already hard enough. Is there a limit on how many times someone can attend something before joining? $100 is going to push away all the "we'll give it a try" families before they have a chance to see whether it's a fit for them.   To bring this back around to cub scouts... you can have a solid troop with only one 6th grader or no 9th graders, or whatever.  At the cub level, we NEED to recruit a critical mass of new scouts each year or we end up with dens that fail, then we get interested families with two kids, but only have a den for one.  Please don't create additional obstacles to recruitment!

  14. 11 minutes ago, Ojoman said:

    These days it's as much about protecting the organization as protecting the kids. With billions of dollars in settlement through the bankruptcy we made dozens of law firms and their lawyers rich, many are now millionaires. Where there are assets there are predatory lawyers... 

    Unfortunately, protecting the organization is also the route to protecting resources like our camps.  Future scouts have lost so many treasures in my area over the last two years to pay for crimes of scouters who are long gone. 

    I'm glad they take youth protection seriously.  I just wish the way they do it seemed a little more well-reasoned.

    • Upvote 2
  15. 44 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

    I just registered with USA Archery to eventually become a Level 2 Instructor. $35 for a background check (this $17.50 every 2 years). Their Youth Protection is every year and was more clicking and longer (90 mins?). Registration was $135/3 years, so $55/year. So. 72.50/year. 

    Their training site seemed more polished. 

    Is ours less than 90 minutes these days?  It seems so much longer. I thought it was more like 2 hrs.

    I've been told that a switch to annual is coming for us, too. I don't mind doing some sort of ypt annually, but it would be nice if it weren't the SAME ypt every year.  Maybe have a long initial one with shorter refreshers annually? Then do the full one again the next time it's updated. 

  16. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    We’re no longer allowed to award bobcat (or any other pin, I presume) while  the scout is upside down. Good luck trying to get junior to rotate head-up before his/her birthday! ;)

    Not a problem.  Lions don't earn bobcat, so presumably, neither would younger scouts.  Planning ahead, maybe?

  17. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    However, the training mandates have drastically driven down adult membership.

    We actually have seen the opposite - membership requirement to attend summer camp and no training requirement except YPT to be Unit Scouter Reserve status has resulted in our troop having nearly as many adults registered as youth.  Since we traditionally cover the adults out of the troop/pack budget, that's a lot more fundraising we need to cover.   I know the "easy" answer to this is to expect parents who aren't actually helping to lead the pack to pay for their own membership, but cub summer camp is already a tough sell for those who aren't as invested in the program, and it's really set up with the assumption that kids are bringing a parent along.  We also worry that it would encourage an attitude of "I paid extra so that I wouldn't have to help out."   

    • Sad 1
  18. 18 minutes ago, Ojoman said:

    With all the expenses facing parents to have to come up with a local and national registration fee that can in some councils be north of $80 a year just to be the 2nd adult at a meeting or activity can be a real burden. I all in favor of anything that gives young families a break. and if you are talking both parents we are now over $160. If a parent can get the background check and YPT done via the MB registration and improve opportunities for Scouts to have access to a counselor then that is a win/win 

    I would really love to know what the incremental cost to council/national is to add another adult. 

    There's the background check - do they repeat that annually?  I doubt it.  

    Insurance - Insurance to cover physical harm to the adults makes sense to be per-adult, but if it's to protect against abuse lawsuits, more adults doesn't mean more opportunity for abuse to happen. 

    Training - more adults does mean more training, but it seems like most of the cost of that would be development and that doubling the number of people who access it would be a relatively small increase in cost.  Yes, there may be royalty/licensing fees that have to be paid per user, but at the numbers we're talking about, I would hope they've negotiated a low per-user rate.  Actually scratch that - the only training required to register is YPT and all parents are already encouraged to create an account and complete that course, so any expenses there are already being covered. 

    In-person training generally has a cost associated with it, at least in my council.  Again, we had to pay someone to develop the curriculum, but delivering it to more people is just using our resources well.

    What other costs need to be covered to justify the registration fee? 

    When my scout was a cub, I envisioned MBCs as being experts in the field who generously agreed to mentor scouts.  Covering the fee to get them set up to help us with no benefit to them or their family seemed like the least we could do.  But it seems like most MBC are just parents who say "sure - I can read up on that and figure it out."  Even if they do really serve as MBC for kids in other troops, it's not clear to me why that merits a free registration but managing the district popcorn or leading the cub breakout session at the monthly district roundtable doesn't. I think we need to get back to a $20ish adult fee and get all the adults registered. Give council a budget for waiving the $20 fee for MBCs they specifically want to recruit.  If that relationship goes well, the MBC will likely be agreeable to a FoS gift that will more than cover that.

  19. On 1/18/2023 at 1:56 PM, Eagledad said:

    My big concern is whether parents want a character building program or an after school program.

    I don't think those two are mutually exclusive, and I think that if we could entice parents into signing their kids up for a character building opportunity by offering it as an afterschool program, that would be worthwhile in its own way.  Everyone benefits when we build character among the next generation. 

    With the exception of urban Scoutreach programs, though, that's not something that can happen under the BSA name.  That's actually one of the big reasons that we see families choosing girl scouts for their daughters.  The girls just stay after school one day a week and get picked up when they're done, or if they're enrolled in wraparound care at school, then they head back there at the end of the meeting.  One side effect of this that benefits us is that those girls who do join our pack typically have parents who want to be involved and don't need their arms twisted to help out - if they didn't want to be involved, they had an option that didn't require it.

    Note that I'm not advocating for cub scouts to be run this way.  I personally need the connection to other parents that participating in the pack has provided me.  Getting the whole family camping is amazing.  Just saying that there's nothing wrong with some parents wanting a different option

    .  I wonder if the BSA has ever considered licensing their program to after school care providers.  So many working parents just don't feel they have enough time to add cub scouts to their schedule, but if den meetings were at school and they just had to plan on one evening pack meeting and one weekend activity a month, they could probably do that.  And the after-school team has already been vetted by the school and covered under their own insurance.  Hmm.  An untapped revenue stream maybe? 


  20. On 1/17/2023 at 11:45 PM, HashTagScouts said:

    MBCs especially should have nothing to do with the Cub program.

    A MBC might also be a cub parent. I agree that it wouldn't be right to have a den leader or pack committee member claiming that their MBC registration covers them, but if their role within the pack is just as parent, I think it would be reasonable to count them as a second registered adult in a pinch.  MBC have to go through the background check and fulfill ypt requirements - same as Unit Scouter Reserve which does count. 

    • Like 1
  21. 19 hours ago, BetterWithCheddar said:

    I'm halfway through my tenure as a Lion Den Leader.  I've tried very hard to simplify everything from our calendar to the advancement requirements, but I've learned I've got about 10 minutes of "instruction time" before our den meetings need to give way to fun and games. 

    We probably have about 10 minutes of "instruction time" too. Some weeks as much as 15-20, maybe, but not all at once.  Fun and games are how kids engage at this age and besides gamifying the lessons outlined for the adventure, games are one of the best ways for learning the skills of listening, understanding, and following rules, and provide opportunities to work on emotional regulation when the game doesn't go the way they want.  And kindness when it DOES go how they want and someone else is the one upset.  And, of course, training in cleaning up after themselves.  Don't fight the fun and games - just make it work for you instead of against! 

    We have one 1st grader meeting with us, so we're using the mixed lion/tiger plans here https://www.southfultonscouting.com/node/4851 but that website seems like a wealth of information for thinking outside the box in general.  Since our plans have to include all the requirements for both ranks, they really look closely at what the requirements actually say vs what is in the suggested meeting plan in the leader guide.  One example: the leader guide has a full on first aid lesson as one requirement of Animal Kingdom when the requirement is "show you know what to do in an emergency".  It says nothing at all about proving first aid.  The plan we're using reinterprets that as making a list of numbers of people to call in an emergency, what to do if the smoke alarm goes off, etc, and a quick "911 or not?" quiz.  Still fulfills the requirement.

    If the meetings are sapping your energy/enthusiasm, it sounds like you need to draw on some energy from other parents.  We rotate which parent leads the meeting each week, but if you think that's too much to ask, maybe you could enlist one of the more punctual parents to be in charge of an arrival activity every week while you get everything else in place.  Or ask someone to look into short movement-break activities. I know teachers often have a whole tool box of one-minute ideas to get the wiggles out. Maybe it could be someone else's job to direct the kids in some movement during the lull while you pass out supplies for a 2nd seated activity.

    Last year's lion den never got off the ground, so I know it's not always possible, but a healthy Lion den, run with shared leadership as it was designed, is a truly beautiful thing and one of the best ways to cultivate future pack leadership.

    • Upvote 2
  22. We currently have 6 lions and 1 tiger in our combined den - having lost the one kid from each rank who registered online over the summer, but gaining several more around Halloween.  I'm thinking that families need a month or two to settle into school before thinking about adding something else.

    I'm the perpetual den leader of record for the new dens since even if you had a parent agree to lead on day 1, getting them registered and trained takes time.  Telling the parents that once or twice over the course of the year they'll be expected to present the meeting using one of our lesson plans has been an easy sell. Hopefuly at the end of the year one will be ready to take on more. I don't know why they dropped the "Lion Guide" position that the pilot program had instead of a normal den leader role  That's really the way this program works best.

  23. 7 hours ago, malraux said:

    Two deep now requires two registered leaders both over aged 21, and because many dens are going coed, one of those leaders needs to be female.

    I understand their need to protect the organization from future liability, but I STRONGLY believe that there should be an exception to these rules for activities where every child has a parent present.  There's no logical reason why a lion den meeting needs to have two registered adults present, or why one of them should have to be female if there are girls, when we are already requiring that their parent partner attends with them.   And things like popcorn both sales should be able to have two scouts working it with their own parents there supervising, even if the parent isn't registered.

  • Create New...