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InquisitiveScouter

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Everything posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. Thanks! I learned something new today! Didn't know this had "changed." I find this a bit disturbing...all assets should belong to the CO, period. It is their program, and they get to decide what to do with the stuff. This also has tax implications...for example...Scout unit does a fundraiser (..."in the name of Scouting?") to buy, say, a trailer to haul gear...if someone donates to that cause, it is the CO's EIN that records the donation. That is, if the donor asks for a receipt for tax purposes, it is the CO's EIN (federal IRS Employer Identification Number) that is listed as the organization the money was given to. "...may have been secured as property of the unit "????? Also, Scout Troops aren't (normally) incorporated entities...they cannot "own" property. For example, your Troop trailer should be titled to your CO!! And, by extension, all gear is the CO's. Council has naught to say about it's disposition. The verbiage implies two pots of money: 1) funds raised in the name of Scouting, 2) funds from COs or parents Are your tracking which assets were bought from which "pot" of money? We sure aren't...nor will we...
  2. Hmmm...not quite. What I have seen is SM's doing jobs outside their lane (including me!!) because of lack of support from the Committee. The huge job of putting on a good program for the Troop is not the Scoutmaster's job. It is the job of the Troop Committee and the Scoutmaster corps, in toto. Too often I run up against the mentality that I, as the Scoutmaster, am THE leader of the Troop. People want to look to one person on whom to "stop the buck." It is not the Scoutmaster. It is the triumvirate, the Key 3. As a Scoutmaster, I identify critical needs and timelines to the Committee Chair, in front of everyone, at the Troop Committee meeting. I ask the Committee Chair to delegate responsibilities which do not belong to the SM corps, and to let me know on whom it is we can rely to do the task. Most often, the CC does not get someone to do it, and I become the victim of my own success (I do it because time is running out.) I will delegate only Scoutmaster roles to Assistant Scoutmasters...being the leader in charge on a camping trip or outing, taking a Scoutmaster conference, giving a Scoutmaster minute, etc., etc., etc. Here are some things I do not want to do, but often have to because the Committee fails... 1) I don't want to take money/payments from Scouts or parents. Give it to your Patrol Leader (money for food for a camping trip) or the Troop Scribe or Treasurer (dues), or, all else failing, the Committee Chair (the Treasurer works for the CC, not me.) 2. I do not want to take health forms. Give it to the MFG (medical forms guru), or CC. I get forms, as a package, from the MFG for activities. Exception, Scout shows up with a new form on an outing... 3. I do not want to buy gear for the Troop. SM works with PLC to identify needs...QM and PLC come up with alternatives, and price. I lobby the Committee for money, if not already budgeted. If no money available, I ask the PLC if they want to do a fundraiser, or do without. Once we get the money, QM is mentored by adult Equipment Coordinator to purchase. 4. I do not want to arrange transportation. 5. I do not want to create Troop policies for support. (setting Troop dues, procedures for handling money, procedures for vetting adults for participation, etc.) 6. I do not want to run recruiting efforts or "inprocess" new Scouts and families administratively into the Troop. etc, etc, etc Agreed, but this is a team effort...what I do not see in other posts here is setting and sticking to a term limit. One reason folks are reluctant to SM is that it seems like an open-ended job because of a lack of succession planning. Give the recruit a light at the end of the tunnel. Will you be the Scoutmaster for one year, or two years, or three years? Set a "retirement" date, and stick to it!!! My retirement date is the end of summer camp, 2021. (We find that is a good transition point...out with a bang) Committee still has not identified replacement. But they know I will step down on that day. If you, as SM, contribute to kicking the can down the road, you create your own hell I have six ASM's, and have "privately" rank ordered them for the succession "ask" but it is the CC's job to ask (with COR's approval). And who, must take the the SM role if no one is identified or takes the position? The Committee Chair! "The troop committee supports the Scoutmaster in delivering a quality troop program. Members ensure quality adult leadership is recruited and trained. If the Scoutmaster is absent, the committee assigns a qualified assistant Scoutmaster. If the Scoutmaster is unable to serve, the committee recruits and selects a replacement." "It is perhaps the troop committee’s most important responsibility to recruit adult leadership for the troop. The troop’s success rests on the quality of that leadership." https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/511-03918TroopCommGde-d.pdf Agreed. When we first arrived, our Troop was just a Pack on steroids. Adults doing everything. It "ran" well, but it wasn't Scouting. Adult leaders were brought right over from Cubs without being "indoctrinated" into the program differences. Cultural change has taken the better part of five years, and it has been a rough road.
  3. Concur, but that is why they call it the "Introduction to..." Is there a BSA course for adults to learn these skills in any depth? Not in my experience...even went to National Camp School twice for Scoutcraft (back in the day). It was better, but still didn't hit the mark. It wasn't until I started reading my Scout Handbook and the merit badge pamphlets, putting together the materials and skills so I could teach them at Scout camp...(served on 15 camp staffs in various disciplines.) I have taught many IOLS classes...and too many people are looking for the "easy" answer or some magic pill for skills. They are only won by study, diligence, and practice. (Same as for Scouts ) Now, when a Scout or adult asks me a skills question, my first response is usually, "Let's see what the Scout Handbook says?" And then we sit down and read through the section together. It's really amazing what you find. Over 112 years of knowledge distilled in there...
  4. Not years...perhaps a few hours, maybe even days... But your thinking, and behavior, is wrong, friend. The facts (stubborn things) and statistics don't support you. https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding Plan ahead, far right lane, cruise control on the speed limit...let the real hazardous drivers pass you on the left.
  5. 7. Don't hike alone in cougar / bear country. 8. After the encounter, wipe.
  6. There are a great deal of rules in flying. It is an extremely complex activity. That is also one of the complaints you hear from volunteers as they peel the curtain back on Scouting...the rule set is complex. But that is as it should be...it, also, is a complex activity (or should we say a collection of complex activities) with OPK (other people's kids) Unfortunately, in both flying and Scouting, breaking the rules, intentionally or not, can have catastrophic consequences. https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/safety-moments/ The best pilots, and Scouters, first know the rules, and second, strive diligently to follow them, even if they are inconvenient. This is discipline... I do ridicule the rules and rulemakers, but strive to follow them.
  7. That's another one that brings out the legalists...and you wouldn't believe the discussions I have heard on this (actually, you probably would)... Scouter 1: "12 years, 364 days old cannot tent with 15 years, zero days old. 15 minus 12 is 3! But on his birthday tomorrow, he can! (15 minus 13 is 2)" Scouter 2: "Oh no, tomorrow, he is 15 plus one day, minus 13 plus zero days is 2 years and a day...no tenting together!" Me: "What about Leap Years?" and run away smh...
  8. That'll be $590, plus tax, please http://www.durabletoys.com/speedway-express-series-860-six-wheel-tandem-wagon/
  9. It is also important to note the confusing verbiage in many of BSA's publications... For example, the Age Guidelines for Tool Use... https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/healthsafety/pdf/680-028.pdf National goes through all kinds of contortions here...it names these as "guidelines", and then says they are "recommendations", but, rightly defers to manufacturer literature... "Manufacturers’ literature and age and skill restrictions shall supersede the recommendations on the chart below." But then does a detour and uses the word "shall", which is prescriptive, rather than a guide or a recommendation... "If there is a conflict, leaders shall follow the most restrictive guidelines." This does not instill faith or trust in their ability to issue clear guidance. And many of these fly in the face of good judgement... I mean, really? To use a 4-wheeled cart (aka, a wagon), a Scout must be over 14 years of age? This is downright laughable, and I have seen hundreds (literally!!) of Scouters blow this one off entirely... Wanna be legalistic? Look at the chart...I guess a 3-wheeled cart would be fine? https://www.123rf.com/photo_17127936_three-wheels-cart.html How about a five wheeled cart? Having a military background, I am steeped in some simple language from all military regulations. Here's an example from one... 1.3. Key Words Explained. 1.3.1. ―Will" and "shall" indicate a mandatory requirement. 1.3.2. ―Should" indicates a preferred, but not mandatory, method of accomplishment. 1.3.3. ―May" indicates an acceptable or suggested means of accomplishment. 1.3.4. ―NOTE" indicates operating procedures, techniques, etc., considered essential to emphasize. 1.3.5. ―CAUTION‖ indicates operating procedures, techniques, etc., which could result in damage to equipment if not carefully followed. 1.3.6. ―WARNING‖ indicates operating procedures, techniques, etc., which could result in personal injury or loss of life if not carefully followed. 1.4. Deviations and Waivers. Do not deviate from policies... except when the situation demands immediate action to enhance safety. The Pilot in Command (PIC) is vested with ultimate mission authority and responsible for each course-of-action they choose to take. and... This manual provides broad guidance for aircraft operations. It is consolidated to help aviators to identify and synthesize potentially applicable standards and procedures, and to understand application and waiver authority. General guidance cannot address every situation, therefore, ... commanders should provide additional guidance further supporting safe aircraft operations. In the absence of specific guidance, aircrew will seek clarification and use sound judgment. It's so simple...yet so difficult
  10. Our last COR is a Law Professor at a nearby university. He enlightened me on this...it is by design
  11. I addressed concerns to our council...FOS heavy-handed tactics, FOS presenters not being able to answer questions about where the money goes, lack of council transparency about where the money goes, poor camp facilities, etc. After our Key 3 meeting with council reps concerning why we, each of the Key 3, did not wish to have an FOS presentation in our unit, I was removed from District and Council Committees by the SE. Without a phone call or any coherent explanation to date...had to find that out from other volunteers who run those committees... Not authentic P.S. Our council now imposes the $60 per Scout fee, and has eliminated unit FOS presentations...
  12. Sorry, not the case...if you have a legitimate question, and you know your SE/local staff isn't giving a coherent answer, and you email National, it will bite you right in the keister. National views you as being solely under the authority of your local SE. So, when you conduct events in surrounding councils, you still fall under the interpretation of rules/policies as issued by your local SE, not the hosting council...unless that council is MORE restrictive. If you point out the disconnect, you get skewered. They shoot the messenger... I have experienced this personally. And I know others who also have... I will welcome them and offer them coffee, but the conversation will be guarded and carefully worded. Dare I even say evasive...too much scar tissue here, brothers
  13. This is my perception of how this works in many Troops. Most of the time, a new parent (probably one who was a DL) takes on ASM, and continues the Cub Scout model...this is not good... For us, we assign an ASM (who knows how to back off), and let the TG show them the ropes from Crossover (Feb/March) through their first few camping trips, PLCs, and a Summer Camp. Once the NSP "gets the program," usually around August/September, we have the TG back off and let the NSP operate independently. In October, they have their first Patrol-only camping trip (scheduled in two weeks, hooray!!). We assign new parent ASM's to an older Patrol, so that Patrol can teach them how Scouting is done Sadly, most parents don't want to deal with other people's kids...they want to "do Scouting" only with their own kid. I haven't really found a way to change that thinking, yet...other than exposure over time to what real Scouting is, and trying to set the example...
  14. I do appreciate the fact that BSA announced they will not recognize a "First to Earn." Even so, there is a good deal of the "She is the First!!" syndrome this going around...here, and in articles I have seen. BSA cannot control what the media writes. My daughter has delayed a bit, for various reasons...she might make the Inaugural Class cut-off date, but we don't care about that. As long as she gets it, that's all that matters to her. She is at college now, and with all the Covid-19 restrictions, she has some extra time for merit badge work via Zoom. And she is one of the best Scouts I have seen Really knows her stuff, and prides herself on diligence and skill (versus appearance and fluff) and will most likely finish her Venturing Ranger award (🤞)!!! Congressional Award Gold Medal in 2018, Summit in 2019. Hope you don't mind a proud Dad bragging on his daughter! When she finishes Eagle, I will feel like Master Yoda... "We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters."
  15. Not yet...but that is the goal/vision...currently, we do camp less frequently as a Troop so the Patrols can camp more as a Patrol. We are currently at one Patrol camping event per quarter. It is usually the adult support that is the limiting factor. The older Scouts really enjoy this, as they get a break from "supervisory" duties and get a chance to just hang out with their buddies. It seems to refresh them so they are more engaged on the Troop camping trips when the younger Patrols (yes, we use age-based patrols) need their guidance.
  16. I hate "one and done." It is a cancer eating away at the outdoor program... for the youth and the adults... Our long-standing Troop policy (since before we joined) was that Scouts over First Class could sign off requirements up to First Class. When reviewing some Scouts recently, we discovered widespread pencil-whipping of requirements by a few older Scouts. I questioned them individually, and they admitted it. All had been signing off one or more requirements that they had no current working knowledge of...first aid, navigation, woods tools and knots, etc... So, moratorium on that policy. But the damage was done...it has taken time to rebuild some basic skills into the "corporate knowledge". The results are beginning to show...small things...knots tied correctly on tents, tarps, and lashings...Scouts actually bringing their Scout essentials on an outing...Scouts studying their Handbooks because they know that is what they will be tested on...dishes are cleaned (nearly) after every meal...Patrols actually have Patrol flags, yells, and a group identity/esprit de corps...and adults learning the skills because, for the interim, only they are signing off requirements. And, the most common refrain at camp from adults is now "Did you ask your Patrol Leader?" (You have to train the adults, too!!!) I am trying to get them back to the point where the vision is realized...Scouts teaching Scouts, and signing them off...a work in progress... Anybody else out there look into this closely and find something different??
  17. @TMcL you are on target...effects of almost any conservation initiative can be expanded to a planet level... "common to more than one country" is fluff to make it more "World Conservation"-y Flip the question...what conservation projects' affects could not be extended to be common to more than one country?? I can't think of any. Perhaps the purpose of this is to get the Scout to see small local efforts as having a far-reaching impact. (Think globally, act locally?)
  18. ♦ Q: If my camp is cancelled, can my unit get together with other units and have our own camp? No. Chartering organizations play an important role in the program and activities for their chartered units. Chartering organizations promote well-planned unit program for the units they charter and encourage their units to have active outdoor unit programs. Chartering organizations are not authorized to plan, promote, or deliver programs for units outside of their charter. It is the role of the council to plan long-term or resident camps and the role of councils or districts to plan camporees and other outings during the year that give youth an opportunity to test their knowledge and skills in competitive events with other troops and/or patrols. When units with different chartered organizations do activities together, this becomes a district or council event and requires council approval. In fact, some states require such activities to be licensed. Should your troop, crew or ship decide to do a long-term camping program for their own unit (Cub Scouts units are prohibited from this activity) please note that the Scouter Code of Conduct and relevant program safety and training requirements are still in place, e.g., Safe Swim Defense, Hazardous Weather, Wilderness First Aid, etc. https://www.scouting.org/coronavirus/covid-19-faq/ As this is not printed anywhere I can find other than in FAQ (can anyone please help?) I'd say get forgiveness vs. permission... I think they may have written this with full knowledge they'd be implementing their NCAP policy... Another aside...if both CO's agree, and provide leadership for their own units, I say "Giddyup!"
  19. Although, they will only be disbanding the corporation known as the Boy Scouts of America. Scouting is a movement that must be intellectually separated from the BSA. Scouting will go on, and I intend to be one who keeps it going, with or without the BSA. Hence my moniker...
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