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Cburkhardt last won the day on May 13

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About Cburkhardt

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  1. Cburkhardt

    Scouter needs advise

    Owls Are Cool: At some point in these kinds of dispute-prone circumstances a Scouter has to ask whether the potential task is worthy of what the Scouter brings to the table. You have energy, Scouting experience and a great heart. I cannot know if you are at the point where you need to ask and answer that question, but surely you have some local confidant you can download with. I think in your case the question is: "Is it better for me to exert the next 3 years of my volunteer time building a great new Troop at a different location without meddlesome interference, or is it important enough for me to spend the same amount of time salvaging an existing Troop through a series of managed disputes?" Said differently: "Why not start fresh somewhere else where I can immediately begin to implement great Scouting instead of delaying that time to a point when a series of disputes are mostly-resolved and troublemakers are mostly-gone?" I spend a good amount of time in my career circumstances dealing with unavoidable disputes and I am pretty good at it. However, I do not resolution of disputes to dominate my volunteer life. Earlier in my Scouting activity I did not ask that question as often as I should have. You have nothing you need to prove other than that you are a fine father who wants to assure a great Scouting experience for his son. If you determine to form a new Troop, do is with a fine spirit, providing compliments to everyone at the old Troop. It never, ever, helps to share what will be regarded as negative comments by those left behind. People on this post are never going to understand more than 20% of the relevant facts here, but I'm sensing that you might be holding on too-tightly.
  2. Cburkhardt

    Scouter needs advise

    Every Scoutmaster should develop and maintain a strong key-three relationship through regular communication and the full sharing of all disputed issues. In our case the CC and COR are officers in our CO. And we regularly consult the CO CEO on key decisions, who also stayed 2 nights with us during summer camp. Such a relationship makes very clear to parents where the adult authority lies in a unit and prevents the rise of abusive “parent clubs” that attempt to micromanage. I wish you luck in your further efforts to reformulate authority lines within your troop, but believe you need to have the relationships described above if you and the new SM are going to be able to steer in a new direction. These are the legally-correct authority structures as well, which should ward-off litigation-threatening circumstances. I sense that your COR will likely face a confrontation with one of the trouble-making adults. When the first significant incident occurs, the COR will avoid years of continued trouble by firmly dealing with the person.
  3. Cburkhardt

    New unit - what to consider first

    You are far better off to start fresh instead of trying to overcome that kind of resistance. I endorse Barry’s essential approach, which is basically what we are currently doing as a new troop. You can check out our advance-planned yeast calendar, which our scouts will truly “take over” this fall (we started in February). Www.scoutsbsadcgirls.org. Putting out your calendar for the coming year becomes a big thing for parents and potential scouts to consider.
  4. Cburkhardt

    When to step away

    I have over 30 years of engagement as a Scouter. I take on things for three years, find my successor during the fourth year, then take on a new three year challenge. This has worked well for me above the unit level, where there is often a need to get a specific task figured-out and achieved. My current “gig” is forming and optimizing an all-girl troop. The change has always been refreshing.
  5. Cburkhardt

    New Round of Abuse Lawsuits...

    I did a quick Google search, and there are hundreds of media accounts on this that will be present over the next several days. Most seem to be written in a manner to lead the reader into thinking that there is a current problem (couched as an "epidemic") with sexual abuse in the BSA, when the suits are related to events from the 60's, 70's and apparently some from the 80's. We have had our YPT act together for a long time and those who read this blog know it. Individual reporters on the far right or far left can be motivated to allow such a misunderstanding for reasons previously and fully discussed. These suits will continue to be fled in the hundreds over the coming months. The point of importance to me is that this makes very clear why we need to support a financial reorganization bankruptcy to deal fairly with the situation and prevent the BSA from being forced into liquidation over the next couple of years. I have confidence that the national organization is appropriately considering the matter and will act in the best interests of children.
  6. Cburkhardt

    Medical Forms

    I would like examples of an annual health/consent form. This is obviously about making sure the parent/guardian has notice and has given specific consent for activities and events a Scout engages in. There would be precise ways to do this in a document. Some might list every pre-planned date and activity for the year. Others might reference categories of activities. In any case, please post some links to documents or web sites.
  7. Cburkhardt

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    We just did not experience that. We were at a high-quality camp run by a best practices council. We are a racially diverse Troop and there were other racially diverse Troops as well at the camp. Nothing will ever be perfect on those topics, but I am glad to wee everyone maintaining an awareness of not wanting those matters to get out-of-hand.
  8. Cburkhardt

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    We are a 30-girl, non-linked troop. We had 21 in summer camp -- mostly 11-13. We had strong leadership from co-SPL's aged 15. Many of these girls have been together since we formed an early adopter Webelos group in January '18. We prepped our kids for camp, had three camping trips this past spring and almost all were Scout or Tenderfoot. Maybe our girls just had more comfort and confidence because of the rigor of our start-up. Hard to say -- but my view is that the program works very well as-is for our girls.
  9. Cburkhardt

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    Different girls in different groups in different camps. Sorry to hear you had such concerns. Our group turned out to be quite "boy like" on these issues, including the spiders and competitive matters (our girls beat several all-boy Troops in soccer). It was fair play all around. Your points #1 and 2 were largely absent in our experience last week. Our 21 girls were a pretty tight team that hung together. We had several female leaders with us to ease the way, which I believe helped prevent those problems in our case.
  10. Cburkhardt

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    All-Girl Troop Report from Summer Camp Our all-girl, non-linked Troop just returned from a week of summer camp. We had 21 of our 30 Scouts go with a total of 7 leaders. There were 17 Troops and 350 Scouts in camp. In addition to our all-girl Troop there was another 6-girl group. Every Scout earned at least 2 merit badges, with a couple of superstars earning 6. At this particular camp there was an objective point-based system to determine a few "honor troops", and our unit was one of three that qualified. The co-SPLs figured out the point system on their own without adults running that show. The camp had traditional wall-tent/wooden platform/army cot accommodations and a dining hall. The experience overall was -- ordinary. The youth members of all-boy troops treated our Scouts well and took almost no notice that something had changed. Several unit Scouters approached our leaders starting mid-week to remark that, while they had early questions about the addition of girls, they were really glad to see us at camp. Young people can be silly, and early in the week there were the limited instances of teasing which the Scouters and Staff easily curtailed. I frequently circulated through the program areas and found our Scouts welcomed, including instances where one of them was the only female in a merit badge class. At the closing campfire the 2 all-girl troops combined to sing a song for the camp and were applauded heartily without cat-calls or other disagreeable behavior. The true impact of our membership policy changes over these past few years is best assessed by observing how our young people have reacted. I sensed no change in how Scouting is experienced by young people at this summer camp. When pressed, the only thing I could come up with was to suggest that the camp's new swimsuit rule be made more clear and universally applied -- pretty minor stuff in my view. Our youngest Scouts had no more or less difficulty getting used to "summer camp things" like insects and simple accommodations than those from other troops I have camped with in the past. There was no "hover parent" difficulty and just a few early-week expected instances of home sickness that were handled. So, to any Scouters who are concerned about our summer camp experience being changed, there was nothing of concern I could discern this past week. WE were welcomed and -- hardly noticed.
  11. These are month-to-month statistics and are only the Scouts BSA program numbers. What they show is that there continues to be slight incremental net growth of Scouts BSA youth members and Troops on a national basis since adding girls. My interpretation is that -- for the moment -- Scouts BSA program statistics are holding steady as incoming female membership and all-girl troops join and partly offset other membership losses. We need to be cautious in our optimism, because there might be significant "bulk" LDS membership and unit losses in Scouts BSA as we approach the end of the year. The degree to which all-girl unit formation and member recruitment succeed this fall (during the first "standard" recruitment cycle for female program operations) can help maintain our membership, but we should redouble our recruitment efforts for our all-boy units at the same time. These next few recruitment cycles will be critical to maintain vitality.
  12. Numbers released today show Scouts BSA still expanding. Youth membership up net 1.4% and units up net 5.6%.
  13. Cburkhardt

    Council Annual Report - Interesting Numbers

    Sorry, Eagle. That just does not add-up. I think there has to be more than that at stake in your council. Either that or they had a good number of “paper units”. Sounds like they are in a tough spot.
  14. Cburkhardt

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    Statutes of limitations have an important function. They prevent the abuse of lawsuits being filed decades after an alleged event -- when so much time has passed that the party sued cannot provide a reasonable defense. State policymakers are eliminating those statutes of limitations, which will consequently allow the BSA to be sued by anyone in relation to events alleged to have taken place many decades ago. If the BSA lobbied to explain what the impact would be of such a change, that is entirely reasonable.
  15. Cburkhardt

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    In addition to YPT, I personally spend at least an hour over a cup of coffee with every potential member of our committee. I get into why they want to be involved and talk about YPT quite a bit. I want to use my own personal common sense on these folks as well.