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Everything posted by Onslow

  1. Onslow

    Kudos to my council - Northern Star

    There is much room for meaningful UC leadership/help/ e Explore branch of scouting. Some Post committee/Advisor folk do not have backgrounds in scouting, and do not receive the same support from the general population to the DEs. Some do YP, then proceed not knowing about the 360 page handbook, online training, awards program. Units need to be diverse in their approaches to serve the larger scouting community effectively. I don't thing UCs should be arguing over unit administration unless there are serious violations of protocol. In my view, UCs should be prompting, and reminding unit leaders and committees to have succession plan, a steady inflow of folks joining the Scoutmaster Corp, an Outdoor Program that excites the youth and facilitates advancement. Getting new ASMs to comprehend the value of comprehensive training should also be on the agenda. The online training gets one in the door. A growing SM, CC, and senior ASM should have in their possession the TLGB, GSS, GRA books. Being purposefully uninformed will result in wasting one's own time, as well as the scouts and other leaders. A UC trying to be a backseat SM is just dumb. Commissioner service is increasingly a critical component of council and district work since some DEs are now being tasked with serving multiple districts at the same time. It helps to have a D committee that is ready to fight fires. Now for my obligatory offensive remark of the month.... If one holds a position in any level of scouting whether it be a Chaplain or a DC member, do your best, and do your job. So may people just want to BS, and walk around with uniform bling. Scouting is work, it is service. If one is dead weight, and doesn't do their job, they compromise the whole organization by setting a poor example, and unwittingly lower the bar for all.
  2. I would like to hear from those who have first hand experience running units in poor rural areas where ignorance is a badge of honor, families are mostly broken, most adults are drug users. Oh, did I mention cliquish because everyone is related. I'm trying to understand how adult leaders are developed in blighted areas which obviously is a key requirement for administering a unit, particularly in the long term when leadership succession is a given. I desperately need some tried and tested ideas that work. Secondly, is trying to organize in such godforsaken places a fool's errand?
  3. I've lived in rural areas most of my life. I now live in a very small town. Being a rural dweller signifies nothing, and many rural people are successful in rural areas, or move to the cities, and become successful. Rural folk are neither monochromatic or monolithic. People in rural areas tend to be related in communities that are stable. Nothing evil there, it's just the way things are. However, an outsider may never be accepted or welcome. I thought this was common knowledge, and not offensive. Some rural areas are ravaged by people who have chosen to play with drugs, bed hop, and refuse to do their homework at school. Some rural folk grieve over the poor choices people make, and become emotional and very upset. This is life. Inserting race and politics in the conversation is unfortunate, and serves no purpose. Mods, If I could terminate my account I would. I'm done here. It would be greatly appreciated if my account would be terminated.
  4. Please allow me to clarify. The data selling issue I'm referring to is the assertion by many that the BSA plans to sell our data gathered by the CR and ICRs that are now required. I'm very well aware of what Google and Facebook are up to. This is precisely why I'm baffled by some protesting over the CR and ICR consent request/demand. As stated early, I suspect most employers of any size require the same thing. Some employees now must consent to their employer snooping in all social media activities.
  5. I not terrified of the people, but the challenge. Working in these environs will be emotionally taxing, and very depressing. Tangible success will be essential for the sake of sanity, and there is no path to success....more like bushwacking a rhodo thicket.
  6. I have no disdain for youth or people of any given geographic area. However, we all should have disdain for lifestyle choices that adversely affect the physical and mental health and development of youth. If one does not, perhaps he or she should reconsider their place in scouting.
  7. I keep hearing the "selling data" issue come up. I think this concern is kinda silly being most of us provide data to facebook and google willingly on a daily basis. Being self employed for most of my life, I was amazed how much paperwork I had to sign when I became an employee three years ago. Point being, many employers require the same checks, if not more. I suspect some may want IP addresses soon.
  8. I am dead serious, and a bit terrified .
  9. Onslow

    Troop Pressure for OA

    I was one of those who was indifferent about the OA scene due to time constraints and other issues. Over time due to arm twisting, I became more involved, and so has my son. Yes, there are youth that should not be there, and are troublemakers, but it is no sin to rally the troops, and encourage youth and adults to serve. We should be reminded that the chief goal of scouting is to develop young men into engaged citizens and leaders of the future. Being tapped is not an award for the self involved overachievers, but a call to service. Relationships and strengthening the bonds of brotherhood will develop if people serve.
  10. Onslow

    What are the BSA priorities??

    The unit should set its own priorities provided operations conform to the BSA program. Some folks are very community/service focused, and are big on visiting historic sites, and participating in patriotic ceremonies. Others units may be into old school outdoor stuff, while others are trail preppies. Some folks are fixated on inclusivity......Other units may struggle to achieve the most basic tasks, e.g. communicating via email or phone. I believe there is enough leeway to run a good program even if/when National strays. No need to blame national for our own failures or mental illness.
  11. It is important to instruct the other scouts not to tolerate a pervy mouth being the goal is to grow the youth into respectable citizens. I'm not suggesting the scouts give a weak whisper of disapproval, but a forceful shut down. Many crap stirring kids enjoy the power of disruption, and seek to turn a group of youth south, or against the adult leadership. However when the figurative knives come out within the peer group, such behavior looses its appeal quickly....and yes, sometimes the whole group needs to suffer for the deeds of one if the group is enabling. My wife has been teacher on the district level, and employs certain tactics often. Said tactics work. Perv mouth talk may seem like harmless watercooler talk to some, but I've noticed that when such behavior is tolerated, Troops struggle with membership, and risk complete implosion. Causation or correlation?, maybe both. It's a culture thing.
  12. Onslow

    New Sex Abuse Arrest

  13. Onslow

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    I like this menu very much. I detest overly processed food with excessive packaging, tons of sodium and sugar. This menu is very affordable, and the food is relatively nutritious.
  14. Onslow

    Mealtime Question

    Being the ASPL ad SPL do not belong in a patrol, who do they dine with in your unit? Does in make sense for the the duo to dine with the adults so they may have sufficient facetime to receive instruction, directives, and advice? I'm not seeing any recommendations in the TLGB regarding this matter. Currently, the SM has formed a "Leadership Patrol". From my perspective, this is a disaster. It has simply given the opportunity for the SPL, ASPL, TG, to slink off at some dark corner of camp and be special by themselves instead of keeping the PLs on task while on outings.
  15. Onslow

    Advice for a new CC

    The Scout Law is sufficient as overarching principles, but to assert that the SL is the only rules needed is incorrect. First off, if this were the case, there would be no need for Youth Protection guidelines. Communicating expectations regarding behavior, and consequences falls under the category of helpful.
  16. Onslow

    Advice for a new CC

    First, download the Troop Committee guidebook, or purchase a hard copy from your local council store. These are the tools you will need to explain the positions for new recruits Recruit a secretary, and a treasurer as these two positions are the most critical. Set a goal with your new recruits to take YP if needed. Once the recruits are fully registered, then they should proceed to take the relevant committee member training. School teachers, social service folk, and military folk generally make good committee candidates. Avoid those retired scout leaders who talk a good talk, and bloviate. They have a penchant for disrupting meeting by regaling the committee with a bunch of vacuous nonsense..... "well in 1972, my uncle would do......". Nothing is more maddening than dealing with a derailer from any background. Step 2. It is my not so humble opinion that the CC should read, and study the Troop Leader Guidebook...at least the first to volumes. The TLG is not available in a PDF format. It is absolutely critical the CC fully comprehends, and respects the program as it is written. There are many leaders who are inspired by the program, but could give to flips about it. They should burn their uniforms. When deviations are persistent, every aspect of the program then has to be negotiated. This creates the need for too much back and forth, and bitterness. Bitterness and time squandering has no place in scouting. Regarding money, the Troop Leader Guidebook provides recommendations on various matters pertaining to finance. I prefer to have a kind soul spend out of pocket on behalf of the Troop, then said person reimbursed at the monthly committee meeting by the Treasurer with the Secretary bearing witness. The BSA does not recommend Troop credit cards, and unfortunately, I've had to suffer heartburn over the use plastic used for the wrong reasons while serving as CC. I would establish rules stating that all expenditures must be approved by the committee, otherwise you may end up with an SM that continually purchases crap the Troop doesn't need. Sitting down with the SM and Treasurer and constructing a budget is helpful. This pre approved budget is key to smooth operations. Anything outside the budget should most certainly be approved by the committee prior to reimbursement. Any person spending on behalf of the Troop needs to be sensible and communicate their intentions to people that hold the purse strings. If your CO does not have rules that govern certain behaviors, it may be necessary to establish Troop by-laws, or at a minimum, a code of conduct. That is where the CC, secretary, and other members may start getting heartburn. Mobile phone use, money issues, and scout behavior protocols not covered in YP, need to be gotten ahead of.
  17. Onslow

    Youth Protection - Parent Unwelcome

    I've enduring abuse in the name of religion as a youth, and find some of the comments above flip, and almost offensive. Legal or illegal abuse, those who embrace such behavior have a perverted sense of entitlement. I might would be ok with this person attending events, but hell no on leadership. The CO, District Exec, and the Council exec, should be made aware of your concerns. The CO should have their own rules regarding child safety. CO rules should be reviewed with the key three, and CO board of directors or Pastor. The CO can do what the heck they want with this guy, and the BSA has no say so in the matter. If you are still uncomfortable, then push it up the ladder with your DE or CE Leave the commissioner corp out of this. This is not their fight.
  18. Why the OA matters to my son: 1. As a scouts ages, they relate less and less to the scouts in the unit. OA lodge gatherings bring youth in similar phases of life to together. Arrowmen talk about college, and other aspirations. It is not uncommon for the entire chapter to pile in one adirondack while at a lodge event, and talk until 3 AM. See #2 2. Brotherhood...not the recognition. 3. OA High Adventure programs. These programs are more affordable and much more accessible to middle class folk then the generic scout HA programs, and do not require adult (parental) involvement. The local chapter has meetings once a month, but they are a snore. Most of the active arrowmen are reliable participants at lodge and section events. Yes, there are many kids who go through ordeal, and they are done, but they are faceless unknowns that have marginalized themselves, and are not legit. They may be statistic on a computer spreadsheet, but if they are not attending chapter meetings, lodge activities, NOAC, and HA, then they are not really arrowmen. My boy is planning on going on a OA HA every year until he ages out.
  19. Onslow

    Compare Scouting vs Sports ?

    I'm a believer of sorts in the scouting program. The most direct answer to your question is just follow the instructions in the Troop Leader Guidebook particularly in the areas of youth leadership. Scheduling, and executing annual planning conferences, PLCs, ILST ensure a degree of youth ownership. That being said, it is challenging to engage youth that do not possess any depth of foundational knowledge, and are apathetic and lazy. Regarding getting newly bridged scouts excited, 10-11 year old youth will want to hang with the big boys. Back when there were age restrictions on outpost camping and backpacking, I would tell the 11 year olds "I'm not supposed to let you come on this trip, but since you've demonstrated sufficient fitness and maturity, I'll let you participate in the upcoming outpost camping trip". This type conversation was worth more to the kids than giving them a Ben Franklin, and would elevate zeal and excitement for both general scouting, and the opportunity to spend time in the outdoors. The second level of baiting can take place as a youth nears OA eligibility. My son recently participated in the OA Northern Tier Adventure at Ely MN. It was a very tough slog for the lad, but he came back feeling more adult-like and just super excited about the national high adventure programs. He endured things never thought possible, and is now a walking advertisement for scouting. NT belts, belt buckles, shirts, water bottles, Summer Camp shirts, OA chapter shirts, OA lodge front plates are all on display at school. These examples aside, become acquainted with the all the High Adventure programs available at your council's summer camp, and national high adventure bases. Explain to the youth about the different paths that can be taken in the OA. In the OA, one can become involved in Indian affairs, pursue admin positions, be a consumer of high adventure, or be a camp staffer on the council level, or a national high adventure base. Always make youth aware of opportunities that are two steps ahead of their skill sets. Deep down in every person's soul is vanity and ego. Find it in your youth, and use for something positive. Droning on about advancement and badges gets stale quickly, but be warned, box checkers who want the Eagle rank, but are reluctant to give back to the community will not respond well to what I've suggested.
  20. Onslow

    Compare Scouting vs Sports ?

    I've never met an adult or youth who've complained about physical injuries haunting them later in life resulting from scouting activities. I have met a multitude of people facing knee and shoulder injuries due to baseball and football. There is a relationship between sports injuries and prescription drug addictions. In many locales, there is a toxic drug culture to be found in HS football culture.
  21. The underlying issue here is just lack of knowledge, and poor judgment. Any trip that takes place on a river with shoals, rapids, strong eddy lines should be planned carefully. A maximum flow benchmark should be established well ahead of the trip by someone who has a has many river miles under their belt, and is flow literate. The flow was 11,000 cfs. A reasonable moderate flow for a river this size is 2000 cfs. If one has no clue what a USGS gage is, and the relevance of flow rates, aforementioned person has no business planning a trip on such a river. Looking at the sat. imagery, I would have suggested a 3000 cfs max for the float. Sidenote: A river that is as narrow as 150-200' wide flowing at 11k will probably have water velocities of 6' per second. One can only imagine an unwary paddler unwittingly crossing an eddy line.....
  22. Onslow

    OA election nights

    The larger focus should be this; Being tapped for the OA is not a recognition award, but rather a call to service. I having a hard time believing someone who marginally qualifies to be to participate in an election would be contribute in any meaningful manner to the local chapter, lodge, council, or national, unless the youth scouter has entered scouting very late, and plans to serve with much energy and exuberance.
  23. So older scouts want to get their game on with backpacking and unsupported overnight floats, but there is a strong presence of 10-12 year old scouts. There is never enough time, or committed adults to enable a satisfactory situation for all. No backpack trip in two years...Let's have a discussion about Outdoor Program management and fairness. I seeking examples of good activity management and Outdoor Program management. Also do you adhere to the age recommendations for backpacking...13 and up?
  24. Onslow

    Activity Differentiation

    I'm going with the gold doc. This is clearly a change from 2017. I suppose the GSS will catch up soon.
  25. Onslow

    My Way Or The Highway

    Based on what your saying, this guy is not conforming to the program leadership protocols. People who try to create their own program in lieu of what the BSA mandates should be not wearing the uniform. I would call your district scout exec and district commissioner about the whole key 3 issue. The SE should have the courage to have a conversation with both the CO and SM.