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Everything posted by Cambridgeskip

  1. Cub Scout Patrols

    Remember it's the kind of thing that beds in though. I think you're seeing it from the perspective of a den/pack going from as is to six (I'll call it that to distinguish from a full on patrol) If you are in a situation where from the moment they walk through the door aged 6 they are introduced to the idea of working in a six and that for various things someone may be asked to be in charge (obviously the complexity increasing from age 6 to 10/11) then that will be accepted. Young children are extremely impressionable and if introduced to something as being the way it is at a young age they will accept that as being the way it is.
  2. Cub Scout Patrols

    In the UK our cubs use somethng that vaguely resembles a patrol system. We don't have Dens like you do instead the cub pack (8-10 year olds) is divided into sixes and the Beaver Colony (6-8 year olds) is divided into Lodges. Each typically has 6 Beavers or Cubs in it. They certainly don't act as full on patrols, as Latin Scot says they aren't old enough to function quite like that. Typically though games are played on an inter six/lodge basis, chores on camps are done in a six/lodge, a six may well all sleep in a tent together. In particular in Cubs each six will have a Sixer, who is the equivalent of a PL.. They don't have the same responsibility but they are acknlwoedged as the snior members of the pack and will be asked to buddy younger cubs, do flag break etc. Those small groups do work quite well both at week to week meetings and camps
  3. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    I am genuinely unclear on whether this is serious or satire.
  4. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    Thanks Ian, that's exactly what I was trying to say! The handful we have had turn up who cause a drama quickly find that the rest of the troop don't want to be involved and it is the drama queens that leave shortly after. It's simply not an environment where they find that it is tolerated, in particular by their own peers.
  5. Help

    I'll speak to our cub leaders and see what they think. It might take a bit if shuffling given the time difference. What time zone are you in?
  6. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    This isn't an experience I recognise at all. My experience is that the types of boys and girls who will get involved in, for want of a better word, "drama" simply don't have the motivation to be scouts in the first place. The handful that do turn up don't last long at all. That attitude doesn't fit and the rest of the troop doesn't tolerate it. Yes there are some differences in what boys and girls like in the same ways that there are differences in what the older and younger scout like but it's not so different as to disrupt things. It can lead to debate in the PLC or in troop forums but there will be debate in the PLC and troop forums if it was single sex as well, just over different things. This is the reality of coed scouts on camp. Boys and girls mucking in together. It's no different to it just being boys.
  7. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    You're right in that it didn't bring boys back in itself. What I would argue though is it was the first stage in a much larger, and desperatly needed, modernisation and it was that over all change that started putting bums on seats again. The image TSA has now is a whole world different from what it was in the 90s. Our annual scout census is done at 31 Jan and the results announced in April. Certainly locally we're expecting numbers to be up again. I'm aware of 1 new beaver colony, 3 new cub packs and 2 new scout troops in our district alone. If that is reflected alsewhere I'd expect another sharp jump. I said in another thread that I doubt that the membership changes will be the last major change you will see in BSA. Clearly something is amiss if you are losing members. The core part of BSA is good. Get young people outdoors, working together in small groups, allowing them to lead and take ownership of the program. That basic set up is the same worldwide. So I certainly don't expect that to change. Some of the other stuff around the edges though, I would expect changes to that. Possibly the uniform, possibly the award system, possibly age ranges.
  8. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    As I've said more than once I would be very hesitant to land the losses in the UK in the 1990s and early 2000s at the door of going coed. There was simply too much else going on. I was a scout till 1994 before moving to Venture scouts. I can tell you that the image of scouting in the UK at the time sucked. And it sucked becase it stagnated. Nobody was quitting because of girls joining. They were quitting because of the awful uniform which hadn't been updated since the 1960s. They left because the age ranges which worked in the 1960s no longer reflected natural peer groups. They left because HQ were utterly clueless about PR and thought that putting an elderly chief scout, major general (retired) whoever it was on TV in uniform and renewing his promise was the way to get kids through the door. Dear God it was awful. And I remember the hard time I got at school for being a scout. Trust me, none of it was remotely to do with girls. Things turned around because finally HQ got a grip and changed what needed to be changed. The change to scouts/explorers/network, the updated uniform, the full time PR staff at HQ that knew what they were doing.
  9. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    With the exception of Venture scouts the Uk didn't go coed till 1991 (local option) and fully coed 2007. Number started rising in 2005. Long way from a 30 year gap.
  10. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    I'd say a couple of things..... I remember when the first girl came to my current group. Now fare enough this was with cubs rather than scouts but it went like this.... Comments had been made, mostly by adults, that it would be a disaster, that the boys wouldn't stick around, they wouldn't like it. On the night she came along I treated her exactly the same as any other new cub. I asked one of the sixers* to adopt her and take her into her six. I introduced her at flag break. Her name was Martha. And then we got on with the usual cub night. Nobody quit. She fitted in. And a couple of months later she was joined by further girls and no one batted an eyelid. Nearly everyone I've heard of that has seen an all boy pack or troop or unit go coed has had exactly the same experience. Then there is this photo. I like this photo. Taken on our 2016 summer camp. We'd had a day trip to seaworld in Brighton. This was taken as some had finished and were waiting for the stragglers to join them. A mixed groups of boys and girls just bonding together. It's on our website and used as the banner photo on our twitter feed. Quite simply it works.
  11. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    My troop (coed) is lucky enough to have a twin troop in Canada, also coed that we have done a series of exchanges with.. Obviously I can't speak for any other Canadian troops but they do no such thing. At night adults go to bed, simple as that. Same this side of the pond as well. Absolutely no need for there to be any extra stress. Young love occassionally blooms but it's never caused a problem. The boys and the girls are there to do what scouts do and it's never caused us disruption.
  12. Punting

    So I thought I'd introduce you to the impossibly British pass time of punting. It's form of boat found almost exclusively in Cambridge and Oxford where the shallow and slow moving rivers plus students with too much time on their hands makes its possible (you don't get anywhere fast), basically a rowing boat that you propel by pushing off the bottom with a large stick. It's something most scout troops here have as a summer evening event and we were at it on Thursday night. It is such an obscure activity that the scout association doesn't actually have any rules on it, unlike pretty much every other water sport. A few photos here. Plus this one. We try to invest our new scouts in some interesting places, standing up in a punt on the river was quite fun for this lad! IS there anywhere in the states where you do this?
  13. Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    If it is all about the money they may be onto a looser. Did a bit of googling and looks like this side of the pond the official uniform skirt is no longer even made it was so unpopular. It's now a case of any navy blue skirt is permitted as uniform if girls don't want to go with the trousers. If they'd been making money out of it they sure as hell wouldn't have stopped making it! Although I should add a lot of groups here don't even enforce uniform trousers. My troop it's optional. We recommend them as they are quite practical but not many scouts actually have them.
  14. Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    If you turn out anything like the UK the girls stuff will quietly disappear. Theoretically there is a uniform skirt. If memory serves I have seen precisely one adult wear it and not one single youth member. The girls just go for the trousers, same as the boys.
  15. Pack Coed Campout

    If you're wanting the media to get the terminology right I wouldn't hold my breath. The UK Scout Association dropped the term "boy scouts" in the 1960s and has been fully coed since 1991 but read some newspapers and you'd be surprised to learn that. As someone else said, just roll with it!
  16. Entering the Dark

    Weird thread title but.... we had an inter patrol movie making competition tonight. Each patrol had one hour and a phone to produce a short film on a subject of their choice. Entering the Dark was the winning entry. Hadn't anticipated scout aged kids producing anything quite this creepy or genuinely well made. Sleep well everyone!
  17. Entering the Dark

    As it happens that Patrol has a brother and sister in it who are half French. It may we'll be their influence! there were a couple of other good efforts including one lot that did survival after a plane crash. The way they shot it using a paper aeroplane and three heads behind it was quite impressive! I'm away for the weekend now but might upload that clip when I get a moment.
  18. OA and the aboriginal cultures

    Not really! Younger sections, ie beavers and cubs, might sometimes have a themed camp which mind involve outfits of some sort but it's not something that would be done as a matter of course. We certainly don't have anything resembling OA at all.
  19. Virtual Campfire

    Thank you! My protagonist certainly gets into some mischief. The most fun is hoodwinking the campsite staff to get her onto things like sailing and rock climbing There's also some more serious theme running through it, all the stuff teenagers have to deal with as they go through puberty. Jealousy, school bullying, boy meets girl, relationships with parents and all those other joyful things.
  20. Virtual Campfire

    That's broadly the idea. It seemed like one of those if not now then when moments. Fact is that most writers don't make enough to live on but if I don't give it a go I'll never actually know whether I could do it or not.
  21. Virtual Campfire

    Thanks TT! It's more of a YA book so I'm not planning on it being illustrated. The idea is that it explores some of the themes of growing up with my protagnist, who is a particularly awkward and moody teenager gradually coming to become comfortable in her own skin. I find prose hard as well. Dialogue relatively easy though. Maybe I should become a script writer?
  22. Virtual Campfire

    Now fired and laid off are two different things to us. Made redundant is, I think, the equivalent of laid off. ie your job no longer exists due to cut backs, closure etc. Which is what happened to me. Sort of. Basically HMRC is changing from about 180 small sites and condensing to 14 massive sites. I could have gone to a new one but it would have meant 4 hours commuting a day or move to East London. No thank you to either option! So I took redundancy (with a pay off generous enough I can spend some time writing!) To us fired means something different, it means dismissed or sacked, typically for gross misconduct or incompetence. Anyway "half eleven" means half past eleven or 11.30. As it happens Midsomer Murders is filmed in and around Cambridge. Gets a bit annoying when they tinker with the geography though! A couple of recomendations, if you are fine with "robust" language give The Thick Of It a try. Political satire at its most biting. The central character, Malcolm Tucker, is losely based on Alistair campbell who was press secretary to Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister. The Royle Family is alo wonderful comedy. Basically follows the everyday life of a working class British suburban family. And the best part is that nothing ever happens! They lead the most dull, middle of the road life imaginable but it is so wonderfully onbserved and written that it is compulsive viewing. It's mostly them sitting round in front of the TV talking. Genius!
  23. Virtual Campfire

    On the topic of scouting books...... Back In November I was made redundant from my job (I worked, for HM Revenue and Customs, broadly our equivalent of your IRS) and since then having been taking a bit of a career break during which I'm attempting to fulfill a bit of an ambition to write a book. And this particular book is a children's book set in a scout troop. I won't give the whole plot away, you can all buy it if it's published! But broadly it concerns a scout who, after getting into trouble at school, is pulled out of scout summer camp by her (my protagonist is a girl. Sorry!) parents completely unjustly. Her patrol promptly help her to stowaway to summer camp. I'm quite enjoying writing. It's certainly more fun than tax! Will it ever get published? Who knows. Even if it is I doubt I'll ever become the next Joanne Rowling, but you never know
  24. Right, thought I'd get the perspective of you chaps across the Atlantic on this one.... First for those not familiar with UK age ranges scouts runs 10-14 years old, explorer scouts 14-18 years old. I run scouts. So far so good. So.... first night back after Christmas tonight and we had a PLs council before hand. On the agenda was who should be the next batch of PLs. We're due to lose 3 out of 5 PLs and 2 out of 5 APLs to explorers at Feb half term and they'll need to be replaced.The current PLC selected, among others, an 11 year old (12 in June) to become a PL in February.Selection of PLs here doesn't follow a set process like it seems to with you. Each troop has its own way of doing it. With us we have traditionally had the PLC (both those due to remain and those due to go) select the next batch with me reserving the right to over ride them if I deemed it appropriate. In reality I don't think I ever have done for a PL. I think I drew the line once or twice about the odd APL but I have typically let them get on with it.This 11 year old is exceptional for her age, intelligent and mature and there is family history in that her older brother is a current PL and a complete super star. If she follows in big brother's foot steps she'll be fine.She is though only 11 and we do ask a lot of our PLs including leading patrol camps on nights away passports (ie no adults with them). I find that stressful enough as it is (I don't sleep well when they are doing it), I think realistically if she was a PL I'd have to draw a line there and say no, we'll need adults on site.So I guess the question is 11 year old PLs. Who's done it? Has it worked? Any thoughts or comments? And with your big emphasis on scout led, would you just let them chose and see what happened?
  25. Scout led - to trust or to over ride?

    An update on this.... Last night at scouts I asked my 11 year old if she would like to be a PL, explaining that the PLC had selected her but I wanted to speak to her personally about it. She was a bit shocked and flattered. Clearly a bit daunted about taking it on but said she'd chew it over and let me know.