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About Jenn

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  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I just ordered one.
  2. Thanks for all the thoughtful suggestions! I am trying to encourage more training for the scouts. I think that would be really helpful!
  3. Five months ago my 11 year old son joined a very small Boy Scout Troop. He was in Cub Scouts for 5 years and I have been very involved as a den leader and Pack Committee Chair. I have no prior experience at the troop level. The troop we joined had only one patrol with 6 boys. My son and 5 of his Webelos friends joined together and formed a new patrol (doubling the size of the troop). The troop has been in existence for 40+ years and has two ASM who have been around for a long time. The problem is that although they claim to be "boy led", the boys have no idea how to run a meeting, plan an activity or actually lead anything. They had an election, but the new PLs received no training and have not had any opportunity to act as leaders. There does not seem to be any system for training the boys to take on various jobs/positions. Everything is very disorganized. Meetings are boring. Older boys stand in front of the room and lecture the younger boys about various topics. No one is using the EDGE method. Boys are getting signed off on requirements without actually completing them. (Instead of "demonstrating" various things, they just have the boys explain, regurgitating what is written in the handbook). The ASMs quiz the boys at length on skills, asking them to describe or explain when the requirement clearly says "show" or "demonstrate". The SM recently stepped down for personal reasons and one of the new parents has taken on that role. He's a great guy, but has no experience at the troop level (previously volunteered as a den leader). I'm willing to pitch in and volunteer to help make the troop better. But I honestly get the feeling that they don't want to improve. So I'm wondering if we should simply look for a better, more organized, well run troop. My biggest concerns right now are the lack of training for the scouts, and the way they are addressing the requirements. Is this typical for a Boy Scout Troop? Appreciate any advice. Thanks!
  4. I'm interested in attending Wood Badge and have a few general questions. -I'm an experienced (& "trained") Cub Scout Committee Chairperson. I'm a new Boy Scout troop leader (ASM- membership). Do I have to declare a specific position when enrolling in Wood Badge? Is the program the same for Cub Scout and Boy Scout leaders? -I'm not position "trained" as ASM because IOLS doesn't seem to be offered anywhere in my area in the next several months. ( I plan to attend IOLS as soon as it is offered). So I don't actually meet the prerequisites for Wood Badge as an ASM. I do meet the prerequisites as a Cub Scout leader. Does it make sense to attend Wood Badge as a Cub Scout Committee Chairperson and complete IOLS at a later date? Wood Badge is being offered in my area in Aug/Sept and if I don't attend then, I might not be able to do it at all. -I don't know anyone who has completed Wood Badge so I appreciate any insight you can share.
  5. Thanks for all the helpful replies. It's my impression that scouts are encouraged to earn First Class within their first year in the troop. If Rank badges are only awarded at COH, and our troop only holds 2 COH per year, some scouts will never get a chance to wear each of these! I know it doesn't prevent them from continuing to work on advancement, but there are some scouts who really look forward to actually wearing the rank badge. Maybe they will hold more frequent (4x/year) COH if their are more boys advancing. I suppose I'll wait and see how it goes. Thanks for the insight. It's nice to hear how other troops operate.
  6. My son attended his first COH last night and received his Scout rank badge. Some older boys also received badges recognizing their rank advancement, new positions, and merit badges. The SM explained that the scouts took on their new positions immediately after the elections (which were held a month ago) but they were given the badges last night at the COH. He also handed out several merit badges that were earned 6-12 months ago! So my question is: Do most units wait and hand out all badges at a COH? Or do you present the scout with the badge at the next meeting and then formally "recognize" him later at a COH? Our troop only has 2-4 COH a year. That seems like a long time to wait, especially for new scouts who are trying to advance to first class within a year. I checked the Guide to Advancement and it states: "When a boy has earned the Scout rank or when a board of review has approved his advancement, the Scout deserves recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next unit meeting. His achievement may be recognized again later, during a formal court of honor." I'm curious about how other troops interpret this. Thanks for your feedback!
  7. Update: I emailed the SM and expressed my concerns regarding the worksheets and my son’s learning disability. He replied with several options, including skipping the worksheets altogether. They will continue to use the worksheets in the troop, but I’m glad this accommodation was made for my son. Thanks for the helpful advice. It was nice to get your feedback and suggestions on how to effectively approach the SM with my concerns.
  8. My son has dyslexia/dysgraphia so writing out the answers to these questions would be a challenge for him and this requirement would discourage him from advancing. I'm sure I could work with the SM to make an accommodation for him. But I actually don't think they should be requiring these worksheets for any of the boys. If Scouts want to complete them to prepare for the SM conference, I have no problem with that. But making this an additional requirement really bothers me- especially because I asked specifically if they imposed any additional requirements before deciding to join this troop.
  9. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it. I will talk to the SM about my concerns. I just don't want to come across as "difficult" right off the bat.
  10. Thanks for the feedback. I should clarify that the worksheets are not for checking off requirements. The boys actually use the Scout handbook for signing off on requirements. The worksheets are reflection questions like: "I will continue to show scout spirit by" (fill in the blank). "What did you learn from the Drug, Alcohol or Tobacco program?" (several lines for answer) "Which requirements for this rank did you like best and why?" (several lines for answer) I have no problem with the SM discussing these types of things with the boys at the Scoutmaster's Conference. But requiring them to write out their answers to these types of questions seems like an additional (and in my opinion) unnecessary requirement.
  11. I'm new to the forum and looking for some advice! I've been a Cub Scout committee chairperson for 5 years, and my oldest son just crossed over to a local Boy Scout Troop. Before choosing a troop, I had a long discussion with the SM regarding some special needs my son has. I specifically asked if the troop imposed any additional requirements on the scouts. (Another very popular troop in our area has some extra "skills tests" and other requirements). SM assured me that they require exactly what is in the book, no more, no less. Tonight, at our first meeting, the parents were handed a folder which contained worksheets for the boys to fill out prior to every rank advancement. We were told that these (very outdated) worksheets were a requirement for each rank. Due to a variety of learning disabilities, my son will not be able to adequately complete these worksheets. But, more importantly, I don't believe he should have to because I specifically asked if the troop had any additional requirements. Also, the SM seems to think the a Board of Review is required for Scout rank, but when I look at the Guide to Advancement it clearly states BOR is for Tenderfoot through Eagle. Would appreciate any advice on the best way to address these issues with the new troop. I don't want to come off as overbearing!
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