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Everything posted by Owls_are_cool

  1. A small troop has a bunch of administrative tasks that falls on 1-2 people. Talk to your scoutmaster and committee chair to see if they have some easy tasks that they want to unload...and get a ticket on how to learn the task and complete it once. Brainstorm on what the troop needs help with administratively. If you are not a Merit Badge Counselor, maybe taking on a required merit badge or two.
  2. This is an example requirement that cannot be completed in a morning at a MBU. There are similar requirements for back packing meals and cooking at home. These cannot all be completed in a morning at MBU either.
  3. My opinion is that all the media ads (TV, Radio, Internet) looking for people abused by the BSA has impacted recruitment. My district cannot advertise in public schools anymore. Typical parent will not know that the registration fee is shielded from the settlement, though I am certain of indirect costs impacting the fee (such as higher cost of liability insurance). COVID-19 has caused a significant number of current scouts to quit. Those of us on the front lines that remain have already taken on a higher financial and administrative workload to keep the program going. If things do n
  4. Nobody associated with my troop will want to pay a dime towards any settlement, because none of us participated in the abuse. We're here to invest in scouts today, not to bail out scouters who were not held accountable decades ago. Making scouts sell popcorn, etc for such bailouts to keep the program running is just wrong.
  5. I have no problem with risks taken for those on backpacking treks into the wilderness. Learning about how to survive the elements is part of the experience. However, participants generally sign a liability waiver for the extra risk. So if I was given a two hour notice that a thunderstorm with heavy rain will impact my scouts' campsite, then do I tell them sheltering in tents is just fine, because the BSA is "okay" with it? (Actually the scout handbook says that scouts should look for shelter if they see lightning, hear thunder, or see dark clouds approaching. The handbook specifically say
  6. Maybe since I am a meteorologist, I take weather way too seriously, however, weather is a big part of PAUSE. Do we as leaders teach scouts by example to react to weather as it happens or do we think about the risks beforehand, ensure we have a weather monitoring and action plans?
  7. Weather in Montana is always perfect for camping If I expect lightning, I have vehicles 20-30 ft away from camp. Last Nov, we had to change our campout location from the mountains, because of expected poor travel conditions, but we still camped in snow and icy conditions closer to town. You are right that backpacking in the wilderness increases risks due to weather. No cell service, so no way to get updated forecasts. I think that is an acceptable risk and a worthy challenge as long as you are equipped. Lightning striking the highest objects in an area is typical. In a more develope
  8. If you are caught in a storm, it is a judgement call on whether to shelter in place in tents or head to a real shelter. If that happened to me, then I have failed my troop for not being prepared for the weather. If thunderstorms are mentioned in the forecast (even a 20% chance), I would be tenting closer to shelter or ensure vehicles are close to camp. Last week in the south, there was a high risk for severe weather and tornados, I would not camp on that day/night. It is not fun being part of an event where someone dies because of a lightning strike (personal experience).
  9. If there is any chance of thunderstorms in the forecast, I'd be ready to head to the shower house OR have enough vehicles available for scouts/adults to shelter in. Doing anything else will put yourself and the scouts at risk. I would invest in a lightning detector that can wake you up with lightning is within 20 miles of your location. That will get you some time arouse your scouts (no easy task) and into shelter. Having a NOAA weather radio that will awake you when a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued is a good idea also.
  10. I am a scoutmaster that is pro-sports, so I work around each scout's other activities. My son now has baseball practice on troop meeting nights, so he is taking a break from scout meetings for a bit. A bunch of older scouts were gone for basketball, so younger scouts had an opportunity to be SPL for that time. I do think BSA needs to rethink everything, because most requirements are to much like school. Develop a scouts character in the outdoors.
  11. I try to not think about the headwinds that scouting is driving into. I have a group of boys that I am giving my all to as scoutmaster. I have 7 scouts (out of 11) working on their eagle rank. Recruiting for my troop will need to be rethought. Fewer number of webelos out there to recruit now.
  12. This question jogged my memory. I was able to recruit a boy to my troop, because their parents were also looking for a troop for their daughter. Here is the name and phone number of the scoutmaster of the girls troop, that we do stuff together with. Sold. Troop meetings are at two different locations in town on the same night, so that is a pain for them, but when activities are at the same location...perfect. Maybe more adults in both troops should dual-register to comply with the directive you noted.
  13. @InquisitiveScouter We plan separately our campouts, so we meet the spirit of the requirement. We have several adults duel registered. I do appreciate the heads up to keep myself out of trouble with the district and council.
  14. My Boy's troop has partnered with a Girl's troop and go to the same campouts in the local area. Instead of two troops, it is more like two patrols. Each group camps in a different area, plans/cooks their own meals, etc. If the girls are working on rope lashing requirements, I may have some of my boys head over to their camp to earn some requirements and vice versa. The scoutmaster corp of both small troops can help each other out with our unique expertise. We also have two sets of parents with scouts in both troops, so they do not have to choose between far separated campgrounds or have
  15. Last week, I happened to catch Glenn Beck's radio program discussing the Boy Scouts. He said national institutions like the Boy Scouts are being viewed differently today. Instead of a scout helping an old lady across the street, we are now an organization that harbors sexual predators. Glenn seems to think we are done. I am just one scoutmaster trying to keep scouting alive for scouts in my troop, but all these lawsuits at the national level is making it impossible to grow.
  16. Shouldn't the units help identify and develop volunteers?
  17. Nice documentation of issues in your council/district. My council/district (Montana) does much better in all these categories across the board, so when ICL does ramp up, the district representative has a much easier time asking for donations. Montana Council does not charge a recharter fee. They rely on commissions on popcorn sales and ICL. They get large donations and have an endowment fund to update facilities at camps in Montana. The shower/bathroom facilities at Melita Island and K-M Scout Ranch are awesome. The new dining hall/admin building at K-M Scout Ranch is amazing and they are look
  18. I would be agreeable to adding a requirement to citizenship to the community related to this. A compromise?
  19. I do like JTE, because it identifies areas that my troop is week at. Last year, I set a goal to do 9 short term campouts. I had to push the scouts to achieve this. At the first troop meeting this year, I asked the scouts where they wanted to camp this year. They made a list of sites, so the SPL and the PLC have some camp planning to work with the next two months. Scouts do get excited about this part of the program when they get to decide on the destinations. How about this... Bronze: Troop and/or patrols goes on six separate short term (1-3 nights) campouts during the year. Si
  20. Current JTE is a good start, but could use refinement as others noted. What is the process to update the JTE nationally?
  21. This is a good point. Journey to Excellence wants a certain percentage of scouts to advance one rank to to a summer camp, etc. This measure should be revisited to measure the correct things.
  22. Still not listed on the Merit Badge Page. Since it is not required until May 1, they will not list the requirements to this badge until closer to that date?
  23. Did you start on your service project before it was approved by the district? Has it been approved by the district?
  24. You are right that none of us at the unit level doing most of the work will be given a chance to provide input on this new merit badge (or on even if it is needed). That is the way it is. 2020 was a hard year on the organization with COVID-19 and the constant radio and TV ads looking for people harmed by the BSA to join a lawsuit. While my troop gained 2 scouts last year, it lost 5 of them due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Actually one was lost due to age out.) My troop did okay in weathering the storm. Myself and my co-volunteers put in a lot of work to make this happen. A number of other
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