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  1. TMSM

    Questions about a "boy led" troop

    In my experience first year parents should ask a lot of questions before coming to conclusions. The SM should have a vision of how the program should function and should be able to share it with any parent and the committee. You should ask questions like: What is the strategy for patrols - same age or mixed. what is the benefit How are leaders trained? What meeting framework is provided to the scouts to make their planning more focused? How/when does the troop use EDGE to teach? Do you think the troop is on the right track or do we have some work to do to get the there? And last but not least - for those things the SM agrees need to change or has no answers - ask how can I or we help? Can I order PL and SPL books for you? Can I do some research ILST and help you set it up? What can I do to save you time so you can focus on the scouts?
  2. TMSM


    Sometimes in patrol method camping we forget that we have older boys that do know how to do things. If a patrol does not know how to do something they ask the SPL, the SPL solves the problem by finding a good instructor. If the SPL does not know how or how to solve it then he asks the SM for advice. Failing, asking for help, and solving issues without the help of the sdults if the goal, not building fires or having outdoor skills.
  3. TMSM

    Parent in need of advice

    I agree Perdi - all the scouters I know do their best to help every scout but at some point it is just too much for us to fill our role and deal challenges from certain scouts.
  4. TMSM

    Is retention a problem?

    I always recomend to Webelos parents that they do a few things before joining a scout troop: Go to 3 or 4 regular troop meetings before you join. The meeting you go to where there are many Webelos invited (Open House) does not really count. It should be fun and exciting at every meeting. Show up uninvited and see how they treat you. If your scout does not like camping don't assume he will get used to it. Tent camping is hard to do for some boys due to fear of dark, storms or even wind. If he doesn't like camping don't join a troop that camps 13 times a year, does backpacking trips etc. If your scout is not physically fit or mature enough for a physucal outing don't join a troop that mostly rides 50 milers, mountain climbs, does mountain biking. Don't expect the troop to fit your needs. If your scouts has learning disabilities or other issues be honest with the Scout Master, he will tell you if the troop can support your scout. Troops are not obligated to change to fit your scouts needs, most will try. Read and understand everything you can about Boy Scouts, being scout led and the role of the Scout Master. I have had too many parents who get upset with me when I detail how Boy Scouts works. I have had some argue and get in my face and attempt to undermine my role as Scout Master. As Scout Master I am not the leader, my role is not the same as a den leader, I am only in charge of guiding the SPL and teaching about leadership. Ask the troops you visit how you can help the troop if your son does join. If he does join then be as active as you can, join the committee, drive to campouts, help with back office details. We have 8 troops in our area and each one is different hopefully every scout finds th one that fits him most. Sometimes the troop thats is picked is not the right one so feel free to look around,
  5. In the SM role I am giving about 80 hours per month. I also am in charge of recruiting and help the Outdoor Chair but most of these hours are co-mingled with my SM duties. My wife calls it my second job and only gets upset when she hears other parents complain they have to spend an hour here or there to help the troop. Last week a mom told me I need to spend more time with the troop and give her son more one on one attention - they moved on to a new troop when I asked her to spend time on the committee.
  6. Our older scout who is the Instructor for wood tools uses the term circle of death.
  7. I didnt realize Scouts in UK is just 10 - 14 yrs then they move on to Exploreres
  8. I think without the specific troop rules for what "Active" is you can't provide good advice. Each troop can define what Active is thats the point. Here where I live soccer is mainly travel soccer with games Saturday -thru Sunday and practice is every day so its impossible to go on campouts and hard to attend meetings. This is where sacrifice (priority) comes in to play.
  9. My advice is to first have him ask for troop guidelines for being active. For example some troops may say "50% meetings and 50% campouts during the SPL term of six months " Second set priorities - you can play soccer and advance but you will have to make sacrifices to do both. Maybe only play spring soccer or miss a few games early in the season to go on some campouts. I have a few scouts just checking boxes and I really don't think they are getting much out of the program. I also have a few scouts who focus six months of the year on scouting and they seem to do well in growth and leadership experience.
  10. TMSM

    How Many Uniforms Do You Have?

    I have 1, I have worn it for 8 years. It has some great scars and blemishes and each tell a story. The sleeves have begun to fray and so its time to get a new one. My ASM and I count the amount of scouting we do each week by the number of times we had to wear the shirt - as in this was a 4 shirt week.
  11. The District guys are there to help you and may not require you to provide a troop number and doubtful they would punish another scouter if you did. If you come across as someone trying to help all the scouts in your troop and not just your own son it may help your case. In my opinion the max wait should be 2 weeks and if more time is needed a good reason should be offered. As SM I serve the scouts.
  12. Just a suggestion - Have your son send a note to the SM thanking him for the date of the SM conference but remind him that that wont work and he (the scout) is avaiable to meet tonight at x:00 pm at the town library. At the same time I would just go to the Council Advance Chair and District Commissioner and tell your story and ask for advice, forget the CC.
  13. TMSM

    Have you done the new Youth Protection Training?

    The high schoolers here have Captains practice days all the time with just the students. I don't ignore many GSS rules but having no patrol meetings without adults is one that I may just have to make a judgement call on.
  14. TMSM

    Have you done the new Youth Protection Training?

    In my opinion this is prep for Coed scouting. They don't want a group of say 5 boys and 1 girl to meet up in the church basement without supervision.
  15. Looking at the definition the word popular - can mean liked by many. This means its not a majority and many os one those marketing words that can mean more than 1. Lets be honest that a majority of scouters and scouts (boys) hate this idea of letting the girls in this part of scouting. All of us who have been around for a while see what has already started which is a change in the program and can't wait to get out and know that for the 10,000 girls we add we will have 100,000 unhappy boys.