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RainShine

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RainShine last won the day on August 19 2019

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About RainShine

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  1. RainShine

    One rocking, one struggling

    We have two patrols. One has four active guys, the other has eight active guys. The smaller patrol rocks the skills and always wins the inter-patrol competitions. The other patrol struggles. They are all roughly the same age. There is a lot surrounding this - history - that I will leave out for brevity. The part I want to get to is this. In the larger patrol, there are three fellows that have learning disabilities. One fellow its fairly severe. He can walk and go to the bathroom and clothe himself, and he can feed himself, although he needs to be reminded to go to the bathroom and eat. He can talk and he can ask good questions, even if the questions aren't relevant to what we're doing. But he cannot tie a knot or pitch a tent or chop an onion. Getting a sleeping bag into its stuff sack totally bewilders him. I don't know much about autism but there is some disconnect between his brain and his hands. The other two affected fellows are highly functional but kind of hyperactive, personality disorder, "on the spectrum" type stuff. Everyone in the room is doing this activity, folding flags or lashing poles. The two of them are sword fighting with pencils or whatever. I'm sensing the other five guys in Patrol B are feeling put-upon. And well yes, were it just them against the other patrol they would probably excel. We're all learning lessons about patience and humility, and about helping others less fortunate, and all that. But there is growing frustration and its hard to expect 13 yo's to be patient when, lets face it, they want to win too. They didn't exactly sign up for Social Services work. Plus the fun of winning in Patrol A is diminishing as their competition isn't really close. Obviously as Scoutmaster I could just declare a restructuring of patrols but I don't want to do that. And I'm sure the fellows in Patrol A don't want the trouble they observe in B. Plus there is some history in Patrol A, in the old days, where the one guy was ignored. I think every individual in both patrols feels a sense of belonging to their patrols. I know, I know, "Welcome to being a Scoutmaster". Okay. But I'm new at this and feel like I'm in a tough spot. Please advise.
  2. RainShine

    Patrol Method not so much

    Useful coaching, thanks.
  3. I've been told twice recently in my troop that Scoutmasters are disallowed from being merit badge counselors. I think these adults mean well but are mistaken. There could certainly be an argument to made against the practice but in fact I bet it happens all the time, like, constantly. “For example, Scoutmasters must register as merit badge counselors and be approved for any badge they wish to counsel or sign off in their troop.” https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/the-merit-badge-program/ “Can’t Scoutmasters approve badges within their troop? They can, but only if they’re also merit badge counselors.” https://scoutingmagazine.org/issues/1009/d-advance.html We are launching a program that will be awesome and just happens to fulfill a merit badges' requirements. The Scouts may as well pick the MB along the path, since we're going that way anyway. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong but I think I'm right. Please advise.
  4. I've done a bit of searching on this site and elsewhere. Seems like there is some colorful and enthusiastic use of Advancement Charts for Cub Scouts. Does anyone use advancement charts for Scouts? Or maybe that was in the old days. See attached. If displayed in the patrol corner or troop meeting, would it would provide incentive to advance or embarrassment and immediate exit? 2016advancementchart.pdf
  5. Recently I've read a couple books by Bernard Mason. Wow that guy was amazing. He wrote books on woodcraft and roping, boomerangs, camping, drums. Some appear to be targeted at adults and others at adolescents. Much of it seems ready-made for Scouts and our programs. There is a book of his, The Book for Junior Woodsmen, that I would like to read but my library doesn't have it. I just finished Lariats & Lassos, good stuff. I searched this site, didn't find much on Mr Mason. You folks familiar with his work?
  6. I become Scoutmaster very soon. The troop is a bit of a fixer-upper, more about that another time. Since my son and I crossed over I've been observing. We have very few older Scouts currently. Those older fellows, except one, have a slovenly appearance (the one, already Eagle, is a sharp, remarkable young man, and hopefully someday will be president of the United States.) They come slouching in, often late, never in uniform, and evidently with someplace better to be. Last night the one guy was wearing what I can only perceive as being pajama bottoms. Plaid pajama bottoms and a hoodie. If they are good w the skills I wouldn't know it because they don't go on outings except summer camp. I see no Scout spirit. And btw I never see their parents. Two are pursuing Eagle. I bet they think this is a troop that will accommodate them, because, well, we have in the past. The others, well I don't know why they are there. But all of them are a drag on the system. I'm in real good with all the younger Scouts. I've been to their houses and met their families. Most are enthusiastic and wish to do well. I see their parents at meetings and outings. But a couple have now started to "forget" to wear their uniform. Once installed as SM, I intend to go on a listening tour with the older Scouts, although I'm not sure if they will give me five minutes of their time. I've half a mind to tell them to shape up or ship out. Please advise.
  7. RainShine

    No hugs, Aunt Sarah, we're GIRL SCOUTS!

    Meanwhile 😏 huggers.mp4
  8. RainShine

    Cyber Chip Sign off

    Look I just go ahead and tell the Scouts and families, re cyberchip, in our Troop what we want is barely sufficient. Not one extra calorie shall be spent on cyberchip. I would waayyy prefer they spend brain cycles on planning outings, map reading, swimming skills, cooking, folding flags, lashings, service projects, presentations to the troop ... shall I go on? Barely sufficient to get it done and hopefully someday it will go away.
  9. RainShine

    Cyber Chip Sign off

    I'd upvote this three times if I could.
  10. RainShine

    Wood splitting tips

    Wow! that really helped a lot! And it occurs to me a metaphor. And a Scoutmaster Minute in there. Something like, don't aim at the beginning, aim at the ending. I gotta work on it but yeah its in there somewhere.
  11. Another thread prompted me to finally post this one. Perhaps also a hare-brained idea, but my brain just keeps coming back to the idea of marketing Scouting to non-ball players. My son was never interested in ball sports. It's not that he hates it, he just doesn't care. I tried. Same for watching sports, he does not care a whit. And you know, that's fine, people are different. We found Scouting a couple years ago. That patrol is his first opportunity to be on a team, plus all the other great things about Scouting. So, yeah, Scouting for the win. I think there's an opportunity here for Scouting. Non-sportsy types and otherwise introverts like my son. Surely there's piles of 'em out there. Bonus: zero soccer game conflicts. The trick, I suppose, would be targeting recruiting to these youth while not excluding ball players.
  12. RainShine

    Wood splitting tips

    On our last campout one of the ASMs was teaching the Scouts how to split wood w an axe. I am ignorant of such so when I got home I went to learn more. This video is really good, learned a thing or two, thought I'd share. Also would like your tips on teaching Scouts.
  13. RainShine

    keeping in touch w troop Eagles

    Well yeah you're right. My brain doesn't always work so great, need new synapses or something. Anyway our troop has nothing. We have no records that I can find.
  14. Our troop has never maintained a contact list for Eagles. Anyone that went to college can attest the alumni receive communications about fundraisers, etc. It seems like basic marketing to me. Do other troops have a contact list for Eagles so they can stay in touch?
  15. RainShine

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    This is good input, thanks all. Fortunately we don't have any hot headed parents furiously coming at us to provide Eagle factory. The reason I brought this up was to measure against other troops what is normal. I think in our case the troop doesn't provide what is necessary. Our Scoutmaster Corps is great and all but I think this kind of slipped over the years. From what I've gathered, a normal AoL Webelo Scout could cross over and attain Scout rank perhaps in a few weeks, or in a month or two ...or three. That is not ever happening in our Troop, not even three months, never. As incoming SM, a priority for me is to break down any barrier to advancement, even for - perhaps especially for - the newest Scouts. So I could bust down the blockades by: having some youth able to sign off a deeper bench of ASMs to sign off carve out time in troop meetings and outings for the purpose of advancement conferences provide instruction for the AoLs that have forgotten stuff More advice on this would be quite welcome.
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