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BAJ last won the day on March 25 2020

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  1. I just got the news I will serve as one of the ASMs from a troop from our council — its exciting since I never had the chance to do a Jamboree when I was a scout. Any advice from the group for a newbie? Personal equipment to take (or not bother taking) that I might not think of? After action insights on what the adult leader experience is like?
  2. I hope that BSA is at least making some substantial money from the gaming companies for promoting their products. If this event came with a substantial “contribution” that can help address some of the post-bankruptcy financial concerns…. Then….. well….. maybe.
  3. My council (NCAC) did welding and composite materials in partnership with a local Makerspace. That meant the scouts had access to great equipment and instructors. There was a council person who was the MBC and a bunch of us helped supervise for multi-deep leader coverage. It was a good program.
  4. As someone with a STEM degree, I considered getting involved with the program when I returned to Scouting — at least in theory, I am the sort that “should” be a NOVA/Supernova Counselor… but I had a hard time getting excited about doing it, and so never got around to it. I wonder if that same sort of issue affects scouts. That said, I think an approach — if the program itself is going to change, shrink, etc. — is to fold more into some of the existing merit badges. I actually really like the point made in this thread that the distinction between some of the “trades” merit badges and STE
  5. The unit I am associated with now actually does NSPs in an interesting way. There is one, but its existence is time limited. The new scouts come into that patrol, and the troop guide works directly with the NSP PL, so if there is “whispering in the ear” it is coming from a senior scout, not an adult. The NSP gets to pick a patrol name and come up with a cheer/etc. so they get that first exercise in group decision making and consensus (that is lost if they just go directly into a permanent ‘legacy patrol.’). But their membership in the NSP is both time and rank — once they make Tenderfoot,
  6. I think this is a really important observation, and I would take it one step further — scouts who are eligible don’t want to stand for election. Both represent part of OA’s “membership market” that are opting out. As someone who came back to Scouting after a long absence, I think the main issue is OA actually articulating what it is and why Scouts would want to join. I was elected very late in my youth Scouting career, so I didn’t actually have much calendar time to do much more than go through the Ordeal. So when I came back to Scouting, I didn’t think of OA as much more than “Scouting
  7. While it looks like this is intended to be humor, it’s actually a practical strategy. When my Scout lost her well populate sash, we did find an EBay seller that had a sash with a significant percentage of the badges she needed replacements for. Took them off and resewed to a new sash in the order she’d earned them. It was a more cost effective approach than re-buying them all new. She found the original sash about a week after we’d finally replaced it (so even better that we hadn’t paid full price for the replacement). 😐
  8. The troops I have been associated with have all had traditional chartering organization structures, but in the course of a Wood Badge project I did some interviews with other troops focusing on how they were managing COVID risk early in the pandemic. One was a troop that was a “self chartered” troop with a “Parents of Troop X” organization (had been for many years and indicated it wasn’t an option in their council currently). They were very concerned about insurance coverage, and coverage that included provisions to defend against suits against both the organization and the adult volunteers,
  9. I too have struggled with this issue — and didn’t think that there is an “answer” … i.e., some Scouts will become engaged and committed to the point where Scouts became top of the list but many just won’t. But, the seriousness of the problems for the troop of participation being a low priority is related to the size of the troop. In a troop made up of single digit numbers of Scouts, having a handful that “only Scout when it is convenient” mean outings (or even meetings) could suddenly become 2 Scouts at the last minute, which is extremely frustrating for an SPL that worked hard to plan
  10. Interestingly, my WB scoutmaster actually discouraged doing beadings at a Scout COH just because it added time to the program and his view was that Scout attention spans were such that it would be a net negative to do it there. He and my troop guide really left it up to me how to do it — I (and actually quite a few others in my class) went out to the camp where WB was held for our beading. But as other posters have suggested too, I’ve seen headings at Roundtable as well.
  11. Partially — if the activity was rock climbing and the scout didn’t want to wear the safety harness, I am right there with you. No problem — and I agree that hopefully group identification and the support of a healthy and functioning patrol might give a kid whose discomfort with the safety equipment was really because they were scared of rock climbing the impetus to try something they might not otherwise. But… if the situation is a partially clothed initiation to an honor society (i.e, the part it looks like we agree on), that’s different since that’s a case where the scout’s discomfort
  12. It actually sounds like we agree more than disagree: The key issue is what is what is required. I agree that “shirtlessness as a state of being” shouldn’t be prohibited because not all scouts are always comfortable shirtless… only that there shouldn’t be power dynamics that push them to be shirtless when they aren’t comfortable with it (@PeterHopkin’s “Adults must refrain from requesting or demanding that youth remove any articles of clothing”). So I do disagree with your first sentence that this is seeking to set a bar at a point where no one is ever uncomfortable eve
  13. From my perspective @PeterHopkins proposed language addresses the key concern (though I would add “and other Scouts” after “respected by adults.”) It isn’t that scouts are sometimes shirtless while cutting trail on a hot day or sometimes wear swim shorts or a swimsuit when they aren’t swimming, it is a situation where the removal of clothing or some state of semi-undress is a requirement for participation in an “honor society” or access to privileges that they couldn’t get otherwise. Doing that models sets an example that such a requirement or transaction is acceptable, and that it is ok
  14. That is a really cool idea — I had the opportunity through work to go to one of the standards certification/testing laboratories for emergency responder safety equipment and it was a really interesting. I think as a Scout trip it would have a great mix of wow factor (e.g., tests where things might get set on fire, see if safety features work when the device is shorted out, etc.) but would convey a lot of good knowledge through the wow elements.
  15. Since Mic-o-say isn’t a thing in my council, all I have learned about it is from posts like this one (and there was a substantial post on the BSA subreddit board recently) — From the perspective of a more recent returnee to Scouting than many on this board, I would add that I honestly find some of the elements of what I have read worrisome, and - as described - counter to YPT training. Specifically, the requirements for new initiates to be partially clothed as part of joining (while others are not) and the in group/out group dynamics that have been described by some.
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