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Mom2Scout

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Everything posted by Mom2Scout

  1. Our troop has a policy where they ask that merit badge counselors who retain blue cards return them to the advancement chair for safe keeping if a long period of time goes on between when it was started. Thus, if you are holding a blue card for six months and no scout contact, turn it in to the advancement chair for safe keeping. I do not hold blue cards. I feel that is a scout's responsibility. Plus, if they have a blue card in the zipper pouch of their book, then they know what they have to work on as a visual reminder. If the scout forgets to bring his blue card, I know what should be signed off the next time we meet with it in hand because I keep records. A quick email to a scout with a cc to the parent with requirements completed or needed is a good electronic record in case someone loses their card or I lose my records (as in we are going to cover #5 this week fyi, here's what you have done and if you want to work on anything else in between, bring it with you to the meeting for review).
  2. Mom2Scout

    When Do Girl Topics Move to Open Discussion?

    Um, yeah. I posted in a local group that our Troop has a girl troop and 95% of the posts were negative. I am not kidding. On the plus side, we might now have insight into why recruitment doesn't seem to be working (not much interest) and how our Scouts might be treated in the public at popcorn tables in the future.
  3. My thoughts on this... encourage scouts to share with their patrol leader when they see others who do good turns. This can be passed up the chain and perhaps tallied for a mention at a COH. On the flip side... there are a few rude scouts in my son's troop and he has a hard time dealing with that because he gets bullied at times in school. I told him that perhaps he should gently remind them that a scout is kind and courteous. It may just get them to stop and think about their behavior.
  4. Mom2Scout

    Scout Payment Log

    Our troop uses TeamApp for sign ups. It's very popular at my children's school for sports also. Any time my Scout uses the chat function, I get a notification. Our treasurer uses TeamApp to track on her end who is going so that if a fee is due, she can deduct it from their scout account and move money around on her end. Hope this helps.
  5. This has come up in our linked troops. I was advised by our CC that the guidance from U of Scouting is that a female must be present rule, when in a building, means that they are literally in the building and available. Kind of a line of sight thing. My concern came from an event both troops worked at, but that at the end when it was clean up (service hours to organization), a female scout happened to show up to pick up her brothers and helped out. That meant the 3 adults that were there for the boys now meant that it was 3 adults for both troops and I felt like if a female scout was to be present, we should have had separate adult leadership for the troops (even though it was one lone scout). Since a different female scout had participated earlier in the day, a female leader was on hand throughout the day. But had we not had a female there.... would she have needed to not participate? Therefore, if I were to meet with scouts at the library in a room, just leave the door open, shades undrawn, and another scout leader (who typically is at the library the same time I am for this particular merit badge I'm offering), can just circulate through the room and boom, I am two deep. And I have just male scouts right now for this merit badge. This guidance provided at U of Scouting is not a written policy. But yes, as I read the requirements myself, it sounds like if you had a male merit badge counselor for 2 female scouts, both parents would have to stay if one of them wasn't a female, registered leader. I got the impression that the rules were different in the wide outdoors... but yes, a firm policy and not a make-it-up-as-you-go policy would be nice!
  6. Mom2Scout

    Most and Least Popular Merit Badges

    District could encourage some friendly competition to boost those last place merit badges. Perhaps a ribbon for a troop's flag for someone in their troop earning one in the bottom 10?
  7. Mom2Scout

    New Troop Open House

    I don't get the territorial thing either. It is up to the Scouts to do their research and figure out which troop will fit them best. It should never be assumed they will go anywhere in particular. We do things like take Webelos camping, usually two times a year, host a Webelos night, invite Cubbies to our flag retirement ceremony. Den chiefs help, too.
  8. Mom2Scout

    Can a CO profit off a unit?

    Interesting dynamic. Our CO holds a product sale in the spring and fall (think gardening) and our troop is expected to be out selling, selling, selling to generate funds needed to run the troop. The CO does not give our troop any money other than to have someone from the chartering org to be the coordinator of these sales. We don't even meet in a building owned by them. But they do provide a signature on the chartering documents each year. A monthly commitment is a lot to ask, IMO, because I would hope that the troop has a full calendar of camping, merit badge events, merit badge counseling going on, etc., etc. A few times a year? Maybe. But I will be honest when I say that our chartering org is an aging population. If it weren't for our troop helping them with their own fundraiser once a year (JTE requires you give service at least once a year to your chartering org), they would not have anyone. Perhaps this chartering org suffers from an older bunch of members unable to really do the job themselves.
  9. We had some of our female BSA Scouts at a community event that involved a fundraiser for our troop. Don't forget the advertisement of being out and doing things in the community. Good turns = good publicity.
  10. Mom2Scout

    New Troop Open House

    Our troop has two packs from which they get their Scouts. Recruitment is us showing up at orientation and school events and being available. Have your AOLs recruiting their friends. Many think you have to be a cub scout to be a Scout. My kid has been recruiting females for the female troop we stood up in February. What you could do is borrow some older Scouts from another troop that can talk to all the kids about Scouting adventures they do. Your DE might be able to help you find some Scouts eager to help you out. Good luck!
  11. Thanks, Scouters. Unfortunately, we live in an area with few troops. The other one somewhat nearby includes his school bully, so....switching would likely be traumatic. There is a lot I can't say without being so specific that if the SM was on this forum (likely) that he would know I aired some dirty laundry here. FWIW, the same night the boys were officially told, the parents were also. It wasn't heart-to-heart so much of a this is how it is, deal with it kind of thing. I think they could have come up with a better compromise to make families less unhappy. I mean, yes, their scout sold popcorn at tables in freezing temps, but many parents were out there too. They were adamant about sharing funds vs. having a a separate account for the girls. As for voting with feet, our troop maintains Scout accounts where they receive a portion of sales to help them personally go to camp. Since the fundraiser was so successful, many parents feel tethered and trapped to the troop until at least summer camp because of their scout's account. If they leave, they cannot take it with them to another troop. For some people, this is several hundred dollars. This has led many parents to be wary to join in the next fundraiser because they want to see how this is going to play out before deciding to stay or go. I don't want you to think I am anti-girl. I am not. I am more anti the process that was forced upon the troop. I support our troop with time, talent, and treasure. We are two weeks in to this and it is going to be a bumpy road. I share our experience mainly for others to understand some of the issues that have come up so that they can hopefully avoid some of the same issues if they look at standing up a girl troop.
  12. To explain a little more... The boys had this sprung on them. Imagine being told two weeks prior that oh, we forgot to mention it, but... we are essentially marrying you to a girl troop in two weeks in an arranged marriage. You have to share all the equipment and troop funds. Our boys, by the way, had an extremely good popcorn sale season and have typically had a very healthy bank account. On top of that, they are told, not asked, how they are going to mentor this new troop and invite them to events, along with sharing meeting space, which is already kind of tight. The adult leadership for the new troop so far consists of 3 female leaders that were formerly leaders of our boys and our SM will act as an ASM for them as well. Meanwhile, we are constantly worried about events getting cancelled due to not having two deep leadership signing up for things like camping. There was no real advertising of the girl troop. Yes, I know the CO owns everything. But a Scout is courteous. A bit more transparency and advance information (like we have a lot of parents concerned about dual campouts, the girls encroaching on activities that might ruin the male bonding experience, etc. -- none of this addressed more than two weeks in advance) would have been nice. Effectively, if you have your Scoutmaster telling you how you are going to welcome these girls, teach them skills, have them come to troop activities, etc. it is expected (and thus not really a boy troop decision). They are not being treated like just another troop in the local area where you see them from time to time. They are linked so tightly that they are nearly one.
  13. Lurker for a few months. Joined so I could weigh in. Our troop stood up a girl troop on February 1. The Chartering Org/Scoutmasters never asked the parents if they wanted a female troop associated or if they wanted to stay all boy. IMO, this should have been brought to the parents before rechartering so they could make the decision to stay or go instead of being informed after all the rechartering was done. No official communication came to parents about this change that would affect our boy troop, considering our small meeting space, sharing of equipment, sharing of committee and troop funds, etc. until mid-January. Several of the new girls are also Girl Scouts. They are there because they want the Eagle and the Gold Star.
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