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Posts posted by TMSM

  1. As someone who advocates for the rights of boys I have to say that not going co-ed is the right thing to do. I have polled many of my SM peers and they feel the same, that is a place (and possibly the last place) where all boys have their own space. We have a very strong GSA community and so we see very lttle interest from girls. I know most of my peers here would step down if they had to deal with co-ed and those challenges and are here to make a difference if a boys life not work with girls. There are many other places here that cater to girls (girls that code, GSA, Girls sports, etc..) so thats where we focus when it comes to girls. We have lots of coed activities and I mean mostly so boys and girls mix all of the time. What they dont get to do is just hang with boys and most of my scouts joined our troop to do just that.

    I liked the fact that Ventture crews were Coed and this was a place for it. However if you look at the numbers girls in thos crews were dropping dramatically.

    I see that my Council is more focused on getting girls than boys. If they spent 1/2 the effort they are on getting girls they could increase boys by ten fold (my opinion). 

    This is a great book to better understand how boys are under served - https://www.amazon.com/Boy-Crisis-Boys-Struggling-About/dp/1948836130/ref=sr_1_1?crid=ZH3CE81ZWNHY&dchild=1&keywords=the+boy+crisis+warren+farrell&qid=1615914287&sprefix=the+boy+crisis%2Caps%2C166&sr=8-1

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  2. My son actually brought this Nationall Outdoor Award Meda idea to me (SM) and said this is what his goal was. He worked with our Awards Chair to help him understand what each segment was and encouraged other scouts to go for as many segements as possible. As an older, 16, scout it gave him a reason to go to summer camp and to look outside for training. Many of the requirements come from earning a MB and then participating in those activities but the other parts were hard for him to complete. WFA - 16 hour training was hard to schedule aroung sports and troop activities. LNT train the trainer was really hard to fine during COVID. Our council dropped these classes 4 years ago and other opportunities were either too far to drive or were cancelled. He did finally get this all completed and on hiw own. Our CoH is in 2 weeks he will be awarded the NOA medal so I am both a proud dad and SM.

    Some of his stats:

    Miles hiked - 600

    Nights camped  - 151

    Hours of Aquatics - 106

    Conservation Hours - 62

    High Adventures - 5

    This is a great award and should be promoted more to get scouts to do what scouts do.

    I am trying to find out how many scouts have earned this medal - any ideas how to find this number?

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  3. The New York Time has a better explanation of what happened to Ota Benga. Wikipedia tends to see things with todays lens and not what it was like 100 years ago. 


    Ota Benga was free to wander the zoo as he pleased. Sometimes he helped the animal keepers with their jobs. In fact, Hornaday described the African as being “employed” by the zoo, though there is no record he was ever paid. He spent a lot of time at the Monkey House, caring for Mr. Verner’s one surviving chimp and bonding as well with an orangutan named Dohong.

    Contrary to common belief, Ota Benga was not simply placed in a cage that second weekend in September and put on display. As Dr. Bradford and Mr. Blume point out, the process was far subtler. Since he was already spending much time inside the Monkey House, where he was free to come and go, it was but a small step to encourage him to hang his hammock in an empty cage and start spending even more time there. It was but another small step to give him his bow and arrows, set up a target and encourage him to start shooting. This was the scene that zoogoers found at the Monkey House on the first day of the Ota Benga “exhibit.”

    The next day, word was out. The headline in The New York Times read: “Bushman Shares a Cage With Bronx Park Apes.” Thousands went to the zoo that day to see the new attraction, to watch him carry on so amusingly, often arm in arm, with Dohong the orangutan.


  4. Our troop increased 10% in the last 6 months but we expect to only get half the number of Webelos we usually get. Packs are way down for now but without the ability to meet that is expected.  The pandemic will be over soon enough and every needs to have a plan on how to regain those lost boys who have missed out on joining scouts.

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  5. 2 hours ago, Navybone said:

    This may be one of the most concerning things I have ever seen on this site.   There are multiple studies, academic or business related, that illustrate the value and importance of diversity and inclusion.  There are countless successful leadership philosophies the herald the importance of diversity and inclusion.   Honestly, I think you have made up your mind and are not interested in anything actual proof of the values of diversity or inclusion to an organization, a leader, or to an individual.   

    Actually diversity and inclusion have been proven to not be effective with many global studies disproving this theory. 

    I think the reason is that that these terms are too high level and allow someone to play with the meaning of diversity. Its easy to point to a specific use case where it does or does not work.


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  6. 55 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    @TMSM, I hope #3 changes for you. The parents can certainly make it night and day. It was so easy for me to take the lead for summer camp this year because our committee did all of the sign-up and paper chase. Did they get some things wrong? Yes. Was it a big deal? No. Because we had some margin both in budget and cheerful parents.

    Thanks I am trying to help the CC recruit but he is more focused on me checking out and is looking for a new SM. My argument is that the CC should build a strong committee first then look for an SM. I have assured everyone that I will stick around until they can find the right SM(or tell me I am done)but I do expect growth in the committee. I am also currently growing my ASM team from 2 to 4 and most are good at letting the scouts run the troop. We have about 80% active rate in our troop so the scouts are happy, they can lead themselves etc. Our treasurer ages out in 3 months, no outdoor chair, no service project chair, no fundraiser chair. no recruiting chair. We have parents sit in the committee meeting and just observe but do not volunteer for anything.  



    23 minutes ago, FaithfulScouter said:

    In my experience, Scoutmasters quit because:

    1. Their child(ren) have aged out

    2. They can no longer take the conflict from fellow volunteers.

    3. The low level of volunteerism causes them to be overworked.

    4. The Scouts' parents are batshit crazy.

    I was also told recently by a District person that other parents think it is 'creepy' when a volunteer stays in the Troop when they no longer have children in it.


    I am currently at 1 and 3. The District person is obviously not doing their job. Troops should work hard to keep good SMs and a strong committe is key. SM who wants a strong program gets trapped if things gp wrong. Parents always blame me when things go wrong, always. CC needs to step up and take ownership for lack of volunteers this should not be the SMs role. Batshit crazy parents are persuaded to change to a different troop by the SM in our troop because CC has no backbone.

  8. We had a succession plan when I was awarded the Unit leader of Merit Award but that was 4 years ago and my replacements son quit scouts and all of my ASMs are CubMasters. My CC has given me a hard time here and there over the last 6 years regarding me getting the scouts to do the right thing at the right time (I am not their den leader) so it looks like we may swap positions and have him learn the hard way how hard it is to be SM at times.

    If you were going to sell someone the reason to become SM what would your pitch be? 


    15 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    "Have not wanted to take action" meaning what? I feel like perhaps we are not getting the entire story here.

    I agree we are not getting the full story. Council reps will go to bat for any scout if SM is not following the rules.  My guess is that K3 has a definition of "active" and the scout has not met that threshold. The reason the SM is holding back the conference is because the scout has not met the active qualification. 

    You need to put together a weekly timeline where you felt  you were active and non-active and then ask for 5 minutes of the SMs time, go over this and get a better idea what you are missing, if the SM demands that 6 months are continuos get it in writing. The send your timeline and the SM insistance that you follow a modified rule.



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  10. Our troop started Zoom meetings in March and continued until the end of May. We used a breakout room feature zoom has to put everyone into a patrol meeting after we did virtual flags and announcements and then returned at the end of the period to do a SM minute. 

    I have been polling the scouts and they have had enough virtual meetings. They prefer to change the troop meeting day to Sunday afternoon so they can get outside and do some kind of scout skill. Once we have elections next week the PLC will plan out the next 6 months that will include 1 and maybe a maximum of 2 Zooms per week.

    Although we are strict patrol method cooking and split into patrols during meetings for skill instruction, I think this our chance to start doing activities by patrol and forget about Troop events for the next 6 months.

  11. 1 hour ago, mrkstvns said:

    How do the total trek costs of an official NT trek compare to a "roll your own" trip using a commercial outfitter?


    We paid $300 per person - 6 days on the water, canoe packs, kevlar canoe but no guide. This includes gas money to and from Chicago (1200 mile round trip). NT is $760 and includes a guide, tents, packs but not gas money.

  12. 6 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    A lot forum members don't realize they have a record of strong opinions on this forum. While they say National has failed, their posts appear more to just dislike the present scouting program, or just scouting. I am a consistent critic of National where I believe they have neglected the philosophical principles that drive the heart of the program. But the general structure and design works well. Killing the BSA or even making major changes would make no sense to me. As far as I'm concerned, all the BSA needs is an attitude adjustment at the lop leadership levels.


    I could not agree more with your comments.

  13. A scout is thrifty but the tan shirt is a good first step to thinking about joining ScoutsBSA. It allows them to start distancing from the younger pack members and feel like they are growing and becoming more independent. As a Webelos Den leader it is part of your duty to help them bridge over to a troop and to prepare to take on some personal responsibility

  14. Our trip last year to Sea Base was also filled with "activities". We went to Munson Island and the scouts enjoyed most of the program - fishing, kayaking and snorkleling were great but almost every night we had a campfire and sang cub scouts songs and 3 or 4 repeat after me songs. These campfire programs were fun the first night but grew tiresome and the scouts wished we could just hang out or go night fishing.

    I am sure there is a purpose for these over the top programs but I also think they are overrated.


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  15. Our troop is currently meeting outside in the church parking lot on a weekday and we are running low on daylight (Chicago area). Our plan is to shift to more activities on the weekends and end our Tuesdays meetings until its too cold to be outside (December 1). From there we will resume Zoom meetings but I am not sure if we will continue this every week or go 2 times per month. We are getting about 25 of the 35 scouts to attend on a regular basis so its hard to just shut them down. 


  16. 1 hour ago, yknot said:

    . They are getting the membership fees

    I am good with letting National starve for funds. We have may non-profits offering these types of nature outings and fees but scouting is all encompassing and offers many opportunities - National is just bad at marketing, they have free volunteers doing most of the work, free experts, free locations but cant seem to stay in the black. 

    If your son is quitting boy scouts ask him why he is cheating his future self. Why not learn how to lead, how to teach your peers, how to overcome hardship and how to recruit new members.  This lesson is not free and not always fun but it will always be of value to know how to lead when you are a parent, manager or a leader in the community. 


  17. 3 hours ago, Canoeon said:

    That's kind of like backpacking the Valle Vidal unit of Carson National Forest on your own and saying you've gone to Philmont. Many of us have been to the Boundary Waters through an outfitter and taken units through Northern Tier. It's definitely not a similar experience, both are different. 

    I am sure you are correct. These boys I went with dont really care about program and just want to go and explore on their own. Its a bit more like doing Baldy and Tooth of time without program. We did the exact same route, in the same place doing the same activity and eating the same food, sleeping in tents or hammocks, putting up bear bags, portaging and paddling. They were glad to miss the sing after me songs, opening and closing campfires etc.. This is not to say NT is not worth it just that our crew didnt need this to have a good high adventure. 


  18. 37 minutes ago, Canoeon said:

    Great video and route. Though it's more correct to say in your video you went to the Boundary Waters, as you did not go to Northern Tier.

    Sure - But we did go to Northern Tier (Charles Sommer) and toured the facility, we copied their menus, followed the advisor guide and used a route that was part of their documentation. We used similiar equipment, let the scouts lead, cook and make all decisions. We told the stories of the fur trappers, indians and voyaguers around the campfire. We didnt go through Northern Tier to outfit us and provide an interpreter but I think the scouts had a very similiar experience.

  19. 14 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

    That video production is far better.  

    But you guys cheated and did a shuttle boat.  :) 

    We did almost the same route but we went to Eddy Falls and decided to portage our way to Kekekebic from Eddy lake- taking the tow from Moose lake was a great way to get away from the motors as soon as possible.Screen_Shot_2020-07-25_at_8_23.08_PM.thumb.png.5116a9ce62dfd4d61a945afa2f673121.png

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  20. Nice video you got some great shots. It would great if you added the lake name each time you were somewhere new. This would be of a great help to someone who liked where  you went and wanted to see which lake you paddled through. 

    I always do a long version and a short version of my videos - here is my short version from our BWAC trip this year - 



  21. 6 hours ago, yknot said:

    BSA is so caught up in its old view of what it is that it missed an historic opportunity this spring and summer  to recruit youth especially at the cub level.

    Old view? like using the Patrol Method? Giving responsibilities to boys to lead boys? Duty rosters, tent mates, hiking together as a patrol and getting lost, making dinner, playing cards - all that is lost when you add family to the mix. Not sure Cub scouts works as a family event either. 

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