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About Beccachap

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    Junior Member

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    SAHM, past Computer Engineer & Proposal Manager
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    fitness, adventuring
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    Mom, engineer, project manager

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  1. I think we need to keep things in perspective here. First off, BSA has green lighted virtual campouts and even hosted them. BSA realizes - as should each of us - that Scouting needs to adapt to the environment we live in to stay relevant to our audience - children. Waiting until COVID is over to return to the way things were is bass-akwards and we will loose the attention of every child, even the most dedicated. Some will return for a while and try to recapture the magic, but they won't return forever. We are running them off when we hold back the tools they need to continue their journey and their joy. To condemn children - and don't ever forget they are just children, no matter how much we think we can expect from them - for wandering off during a virtual campout for an undetermined reason is not ok. Maybe they were instructed to leave. Maybe they got bored. It does not matter. Celebrate what they did stay for and let the rest go. Have less involvement in the next virtual campout because that one must have been ill-tuned to the audience. To assume that a parent who marks off a child's progress in scoutbook/wherever without photo evidence is being dishonest flies in the face of the Scout Oath and Scout Law - a Scout is trustworthy. Trust them, and if we need more proof, call them, talk to the child, and inquire how they completed the task. If we can't do that for now, for whatever reason, let it go until you can, but err on the side of people doing the best they can. Scouting isn't something that any child signs up for because they want to please a leader, jump through red tape, or otherwise impress someone. They do it for the adventure, for fun, and we need to assume that all regular advancement that they quite possibly did on their own doing what they truly thought they were supposed to do under published BSA guidelines is checked off for a Scout following the Scout Oath and Law.
  2. It sounds like there is good advice above for going about removing from the roster, but just remember that everything with BSA moves glacially. In the meantime, if it is a financial situation, i.e. missing funds by a treasurer perhaps, get their name replaced at the bank and inform members of the change in the money stream. If a legal liability situation, i.e. bar fight between leaders or w/e with the thread of lawsuit, then current roster matters less than what the roster was at the time of the event. If it is a scouting situation, i.e. a leader being called out for fictionally advancing a scout, edit the permissions for that leader directly through Scoutbook and reduce or remove all privileges or with the help of your highest ranking admin. Next, go into membership in Scoutbook and end their relationship with the Unit.
  3. So just a quick note, we have 8 registered girls in our Pack and more filing in the door, but only through word of mouth and our own recruiting. Despite fighting with our council since the inception of girls in cub scouts to reclassify us (and I mean revisited over and over and over), we still appear as a boy only Pack in the council and at national level. There may be more Packs out there taking girls than what you can see online, given how impossible it is for someone on the Council end to fix our own classification. As an aside, yes, I know it is a setting we can do through our own Scouting.org tool. However, at our council level that function is disabled globally and it does not appear to us to configure. We've had DEs and Council verify this and look into it, and .... nothin'.
  4. I don't doubt that this could work, but I totally get the response from the den leader. Kids have just minutes of recess at school instead of the hour or more that was considered the mere minimum in the past. There are endless standardized tests starting at the lowest elementary grades and kids are desperate to move. Maybe interactive stories would be better, where in the storytelling every time a title or catchphrase is mentioned the kids have to act it out or make the animal sound. Those have had success with our younger Cubs.
  5. I don't know where you live, but I'd love to get a cuppa with you someday. I just lol'd at your Klan remark and disrupted a room full of folks here waiting on our cars to get serviced. You are doing amazing. Something that might help your lower income pack is to accept credit card payments and actually raise dues to include more activities. Those steps helped many of our lower income families. We also offer camperships, i.e. free dues, which anyone can claim. To claim one you must put your need in writing and sign your name. It's confidential, just between the parent and cubmaster. That simple action deters 90% of the people who inquire in our pack. At present or dues include a class b tshirt, pinewood derby (car and event), raingutter regatta (boat and event), and a 1$ campout with 4 meals for the whole family. It may seem counter intuitive, but this means exactly one painful financial transaction per year (can be paid off in installments through credit card), and that is easier for the parents to endure over the endless smaller payments. Also, I don't know that aggressive ongoing fundraising will help the lowest income brackets because most of those families are working too many jobs to be able to get their kids to fundraising stuff in addition to traditional scout activities. We tried that route too and found it unsustainable. Try getting seen in the community and donors will present themselves to you. We stumbled into a real life Santa who pays for every campership and attends a few of our functions as an honored guest. (We met this Eagle Scout in a Santa parade). When I'm at my most frustrated, he seems to pop in my mind. Stepping into Committee Chair is the only role for you. Lead on! Your instincts are great, your mind is lovely, your humor is perfectly dark, and you can make your pack a hearty beast of your own making. I'm sure I'll get crap here for this, but if the ypt recert makes you crazy and your cert is still good, then set your computer to silent and kick it off in the background. Set a timer to remind you to pop back and answer questions now and then, and promptly forget about it for another year. Don't get bullied by it, just skip it. Watch it all again properly when your 2 years is up. Hope to see more posts from you soon. I could use the laughs.
  6. Our charter has a large, beautiful green space next to the Fellowship Hall where we hold the derby. This year we opened the doors and made it one big space. 2 years ago the Bears put on their carnival outside during the derby and that worked well. Last year it rained, if memory serves, so we were stuck inside the whole time and I don't recall it being as much fun. One significant improvement we did for our pack was to run separate heats and award them accordingly. That gives back uninterrupted free play to k-2 or 3-5 grades while the other heat goes down. The other half of the pack generally goes outdoors when it's not their turn, so it shortens everything up. Easier on their attention spans. The kids know I'm always soliciting feedback so many come to me unprompted when they like or don't like something. Hands down my biggest feedback from every single age group is 'we want more free time/ free play'. We adults often think it's a bad idea when it's hot, buggy, rainy, etc, but their response to that is so much purer. They don't care. They want to be outside, and allowed to play tag or roll around on the ground/mud/prickers. Their bodies demand it. Maybe try adding free time. Our pack loves it.
  7. I'm cautious with a response here because I've heard this same argument from a small troop that's a mess. Youth lead does not mean all planning happens the week or two before you want to go somewhere. Although I know many adults live this way (our society is largely composed of families living paycheck to paycheck), it's a reactive, painful existence that no one will gravitate towards. Leaders need to instill an expectation that it is paramount to pre plan months and sometimes years in advance, depending on the goal. Once the lesson is learned and a calendar is established, long term planning doesn't seem so daunting. I'd even argue that it's much easier. Now I'm clearly projecting on your situation here. The fact that you've come to the forums, that you've stood up a girl's troop when that's a difficult chore, that you've retained girls, and are fresh out of the gates making it youth lead are all indicators that you are doing everything right. So I recommend some reflection. Are they not joining after visiting, or are they not visiting? If the former, perhaps you could reevaluate the problem with the youth and brainstorm recruitment strategies for improvement. How welcoming was your troop? Did you host special activities for their visit(s)? Did your scouts explain the importance of youth lead leadership and how it could benefit new members? If they didn't visit, brainstorm how to find local girl Webelos and how to reach out to them through invitations to every Campout, hike, service project, etc. Teach your scouts that they should court them, starting now, for next year's crop.
  8. What was the markup per dozen? Did you get any discounts from Krispy Kreme that added to your profits?
  9. I'll be all sorts of bitter if my dysfunctional council that we've all but eliminated from our lives demands a fee from us next year. Do we have to charter with the council in our zip code, or can we charter with any council?
  10. Thanks for your kindness, Parkman. This made me smile.
  11. I'm always nervous about meals and cross contamination. We have no peanut allergies, I'm relieved to say, because I'd just be breaking out in panic attacks about having a child at risk at a campout 24/7. Even if we eradicate peanuts from our meal plan, other families show up with what they show up with, and kids are kids (messy & dirty especially camping). I'd have to have a leap of faith that the parents were managing it, but we'd adapt as best we could to accomadate. We have food service gloves and an actual bucket of serving utensils to try and keep that down, but then we have children and distracted adults serving so... Ugh. I just don't know what I'd do. I think if I was a mother of a child with severe allergies I would write my pack off entirely. We're just too large, too chaotic, too many moving parts. But if a parent is zen enough to embrace us and prepared enough, then we could give it a shot.
  12. Oh, I love a casserole. Tastes like childhood. This looks yum. I think the rotel will be no problem at all, unless you opt for the spicy variety. One thought - if you pull the chicken you may have larger chunks of meat which can be problematic for little ones. You may want to take extra care to ensure all meat is pulled or cut very small for safety. But going rotisserie Sam's chicken is genius. One question, what size dutch oven?
  13. Every campout we use the same meal plan with small variations, but no, we don't make anyone try anything. We require everyone to buy it as part of registration, but no one has to eat it (everyone eats it though). We charge 3$ for age 0-4, 10$ for ages 5+. They get Sat breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack dinner, dessert, and Sunday breakfast. We have a small bin for Friday night late arrivers/families in disarray to do DIY PB&J, bananas, and graham crackers for dinner, because with family camping there is always greater potential for chaos and there is nothing worse than having a crew of hangry children running about at 10pm because things went sideways. We've found tremendous buy in from kids to try foods when they help cook and prepare. Peer pressure is magnificent too for kids to want to try new foods. There's nothing like sitting with a pile of kids all diving into their burritos and watching a new kid reevaluate their plate with a plain tortilla and a teaspoon of shredded cheese on it. Usually, they get up and go back through the line and add a few more 'exotic' items like tortilla chips and a little chicken. But if they starve, that's ok. We follow with a dessert that very few kids turn down so they get calories in them. I could care less about our Pack's general nutrition intake on a campout. I figure we offer what we offer, and anything that doesn't work out is between the parent and child to sort out. If the child is older and camping with other children / no parent, then they figure it out for themselves. They may ask for 4 poptart packs Sunday morning, but we roll with it. By repeating the same meal plan the Cubs grow more confident with each return to a meal/assignment. We have a handful of Cubs who infuse themselves with serving/preparing at every single meal, despite not being assigned. There is always some way they can contribute. That said, I design each meal to be a la carte. Burritos are not premade, but ingredients are set out and you make your own like in line at Chipotle. Using that design I almost never hear a vegetarian or a gluten free camper cite difficulty. Your dutch oven chicken spaghetti meal sounds intriguing. Perhaps you could share the recipe here? I think that's a great way to introduce meal plan elements to Cub Scout camping. Our community was mostly built through shared meals, so I can't endorse it enough. All Scouts (wolf and older) and parental types have assignments to run it. Through meal plan participation friendship and trust have been fostered throughout the Pack.
  14. I disagree with this interpretation. Step 1, Webelos must plan a menu for a balanced meal, budget, shop, etc. They can do this in a den meeting with planning, then the next den meeting at a store with pencil/paper/calculator. Step 2 does not say that to prepare a balanced meal, you must use the menu from #1. Any meal preparation that uses camp stove, dutch oven, etc, if possible, should count. That said, going about it in a simple 1, 2, 3 step process and Webs delivering a meal would be great. We don't do it that way in our Pack. But any ambitious Den Leader who declares that is the way forward is always welcome to go that route.
  15. Edit: I didn't read your post carefully - you mentioned a public FB page for yourself, not a 2nd account. Whoops. Go for it. I think it's a good idea. I've had a lot of success with our public FB page as a recruitment tool for our Pack. It's also linked to various area groups, like the PD, YMCA, local business who support us, etc. It's slow to start, but on it's own it's a recruiting magnet after a few years of building it up. I hope you have the same success with your leader page.
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