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Cheerful Eagle

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Everything posted by Cheerful Eagle

  1. Cheerful Eagle

    Burnout arrived early this year...

    Ok, generally I strenously avoid using the forums to vent, but this has me up in the wee hours of the night and I need some feedback from you all you Scouters here who I have come to respect. Last year I realized that I had worked myself into the position that the parents in my den expected me to do everything; plan, host, lead and clean up. I made it as clear as I was able that this couldn't go on. I stopped doing everything and on occasions when no-one stepped up, things didn't happen. My assistant den leader stepped up to the best of his ability, and tho he didn't have the time to get training, he really put his heart into it. Another family stepped up to the plate and is serving as the committe chair -- doing a great job too. The other two families are threatening to pull out now, because last year was "too chaotic". Should I care? I do, because I will miss their sons. I've served in pack leadership for EIGHT years now. I've come to the place where I'd like to have more to my life than "momming" and running a Cub Scout pack/den. My oldest needs me to support him in his life -- which really doesn't involve the Pack -- he's 15. My daughter needs me to be involved in her life -- which doesn't involve the pack -- she's 12. My youngest still loves cubbing and I want him to have a rich, fun experience with this sweet time of his life. I want to be involved with my son's Troop, and Crew -- especially the Crew, as I want it to be healthy when my daughter is able to join too. It's so tempting to move to a larger Pack and just be an involved parent instead of one of the leaders. But I'd be abandoning MY friends -- some of whome I talked into being part of this madness. So I'm feeling conflicted. I can't go back to doing everything. I can't say with any confidence that things will be better this year. I'm loosing my assistant due to demands of his job. My older kids are ramping up their demands on my time (marching band, driver's permit etc etc). Oh, help. I'm not feeling so cheerful anymore.
  2. Cheerful Eagle

    Doing stuff with BSA units

    As a small troop that has several family members in the same Pack and Troop, we have been toying with doing some things jointly with them, for example helping out with the "scouting for food" food pantry drive. Of course we're all together at the church for scout sunday, as the church also provides our GSA troop with meeting space... Does anyone else do much cooperatively with a BSA unit? Or what about friendly competition with our male peers? I just wonder how much this gender seperation needs to be protected or slightly adjusted. You know, sometimes the guys get this "girls cant do ..." kind of attitude. Cause, they never see their female peers DOING anything remotely like scouting. Ya thay joke about GS's selling cookies -- AND THATS THE ONLY TIME THEY EVER SEE GIRLS SCOUTING. And the girls, well, they don't see themselves as part of a YOUTH movement, just a GIRL movement...
  3. Cheerful Eagle

    Bridging and flying up

    Ok, here's a thought. Why split up the troop? Why not just have a "Daisy" Patrol and a "Brownie" patrol. Recruit a leader for each patrol, open and close together, but have seperate meeting activities and outings. Then, instead of 2 cookie chairs, you only need one. Ditto on other positions. AND how easy do the badge requirments that involve interaction with other age groups become?! AND now you have built in peer mentoring for the new leaders. Gee, does that sound like a pack. Well, .. yes. Does Girl Scouts USA promote that type of structure. No. Does GSUSA prohibit that structure? Not that I know of. Just because they don't encourage it, doesn't mean we can't be smarter than the average bear. Just my 2 cents.
  4. Cheerful Eagle

    The Can of Worms called Creation and/or Evolution

    My favorite book on the topic: Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution, by Kenneth R. Miller 3 main take-aways: 1. Science has nothing to say about the supernatural, because science is by definition limited to the material world. Therefore, anyone who claims that science proves the God does not exist is an idiot. Science CAN, however, illuminate our understanding of God, and often does challenge dogma (cf: Copernicus). 2. While the debate commenly focuses on the two polar extremes (Did humans evolve from pond slime or did they pop up fully formed from the earth?) it rarely goes beyond to the more important questions of "first cause", and the basic ramifications of God's involvement with the development of life, or on the other hand, what is the logical end of the atheist's convictions? 3. Faith is a logically viable position; the rejection of evolution may not be. However, if we could explain and exhibit God's workings clearly, then faith is unnecessary and we spin off into a whole different debate on free will. Now I will hide behind my asbestos shield...
  5. Cheerful Eagle

    What patrol are you in?

    Well, I used to be an eagle, of course... (given that I'm a *gasp* girl, it's my only claim to eagle-ness.)WE3-55-04 But I will say, with great pride and joy, that I used to be a TG for a patrol of Beavers, and they have all now finished their tickets and earned their beads. WE3-55-06. Congrats to Kevin, Marcia, Steve, Robert and Ardsher!
  6. Cheerful Eagle

    Cub Scout Overnighters during summer

    A couple of other programs you might want to check out for ideas: Pacific Skyline Council has Cub-Parent Weekends a couple of times a year. These are wildly successful (we went to almost every single one when our oldest was a cub -- now we've moved and boy do I miss 'em) Last Fall's flyer has Jean Sato's contact info: http://www.pacsky.org/openrosters/ViewOrgPageLink.asp?LinkKey=9023&orgkey=192 The theme this May is Cub Olympics: http://www.pacsky.org/registration/calendardetail.asp?orgkey=192&ActivityKey=279732 Another program that I am becoming familiar with is the Grand Canyon Council's Cub Residence Camp at R-C: http://www.doubleknot.com/openrosters/DocDownload.asp?orgkey=62&id=13841 Sounds like you are doing something more like the Cub-Parent weekend, though. At Pac-Sky also has Cub-On's, another Cub/Family/Pack camping -- the more traditional open pool/go for a hike/ do a craft sort of program. I personally preferred the wide game approach of the Cub-Parent weekend, though to be honest, it is intensive on the staff development end. The wide game ties everything together into a theme, so although we usually had the same kind of activity stations, they were recast according to the theme. For example, we always had an outdoor cooking station, but what we cooked, and how it was "packaged" (the name, the site props etc) was matched to the theme. The cubs were encouraged to try all the activity stations by giving them a map on which to collect stamps; anyone presenting a filled map on the second day got a secret prize.
  7. Cheerful Eagle

    Tigers going to Day Camp - need ideas for inspiring good behavior

    Definitly come prepared! Kim's ideas are great. I would add a pocket full of wrapped penny candy, suitable for a quick good deed reward or correct answer to a pop quiz. Here in Pheonix, we caried misting bottles (no water guns were allowed) to cool off the cubs, and supplied water balloons for in den-site water battles. I think the temporary tatoos would be really popular for an end-of-the-day "well done". Imagine the whole lot of them with a tat for each day at the end of camp. IMHO the incentives will work best if: - there are several opportunities during the day to earn one. - they reward different kinds of behavior/performance. - you have carefully thought out your standards in advance and make them clear to the boys. - you yourself are cheerful and positive towards them, even the challenging boys. - use logical consequences, not shame and anger, when correction is needed, (This message has been edited by Cheerful Eagle)
  8. Cheerful Eagle

    What are YOU doing this summer?

    While the BSA scouters are getting ready for summer camp (yea! me too!) or high adventure trips with their troops, what are the girls planning to do this summer? Some of my girls are going to camp, of course that doen't involve me or the troop. We have tenative plans to "do something fun" in June and July. Rather like the Pack's summertime fun plans.
  9. Cheerful Eagle

    Pack camping -- how far?

    As a young scouter (I've been accociated with two packs now), I feel that I've been exposed to two extremes when it comes to family Pack camping, and I'd like to hear from other's experience. So here's the question: When you plan a Pack Family camping trip, how far away do you consider going? Is distance a consideration? If, due to terrain, the closest option was 75 mi away, would that change the traveling distance you'd be willing to consider?
  10. Cheerful Eagle

    Roasting Marshmallows

    DanKroh wrote: "Also, what if the marshmallow roasting is going on *not* at a camping overnight, but at a den meeting, or a pack meeting? Despite the fact that we'd like them to, not all parents can/do attend every den meeting or every pack meeting (Tigers excepted, of course). Hopefully, though, there is still enough adult supervision to keep the boys safe around the fire; if not, then we wouldn't have an activity involving a fire." Hmm true, I had my personal experience blinders on. I've never been involved in a den meeting that involved a fire, planned or unplanned . Being in a urban setting where even fireplaces are rarely if ever used, it never occured to me to think of somores as anything but a camping activity.
  11. Cheerful Eagle

    Roasting Marshmallows

    You know, I scanned this thread, very interesting -- flaming marshmallow in the face, scarey thought -- but I missed any reference to the core princple of CUB scout camping. Cub Scouts go camping with their FAMLIES. Not as dens, not away from parental control, EXCEPT for council sponcered residence camp (then with a high adult leader - cub ratio, and there is rarely any opportunity to interact with fire there), or Webelos scouts participating in a Boy Scout Troop event (like a Webelos Weekend). So, if the boys want to roast marshmallows, round up the parents. Have a frank and short discussion about the rules of engagement, and give them the impliments of destruction. Personally, I only allow my kids to roast marshmallow over EMBERS, not flames, and any waving sticks in the direction or vicinity of other people, let alone faces, get one warning then a confiscation. Kids who can't be trusted get to act as roasting advisors, while an adult does the roasting --- everyone gets to eat somemores! (I go camping alot with my family, and I treat my Girl Scouts the same way). On a side note, kids are not allowed to fiddle with the fire -- no sticks poking in and out of the campfire. Sticks that get poked in get added to the fire perminantly. This earns me some hairy eyeballs from the kids, and some of the Dads think I'm too up tight, but I don't really care. Trips to the ER ruin my camping experience. (This message has been edited by Cheerful Eagle)
  12. Cheerful Eagle

    female leaders/committee

    Hmmm, dart the shirt... I like that idea. As for neck-wear, I go with the cub scout leader necker along with my woodbadge beads and woggle. Most of the time I'm with the pack. When I'm with the troop I wear the bolo with our troop seal on it -- hey, they gave it to me! I never even wondered if the gals could wear it. I nearly always wear the swichbacks these days. They seem to fit way better than those horrid green pants.
  13. Cheerful Eagle

    Are each of the12 Points of equal importance?

    An interesting question. I've come to the conclusion that there should be some punctuation added to the law. A scout is trustworthy: loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. It seems to me that the qualities following "trustworthy" describe what it means to be worth trusting in different circumstances. For example, you can trust a scout with the patrol food shopping because he is thrifty. Or, you can trust a scout to retire a flag, because she is reverent.
  14. Cheerful Eagle

    What are YOU doing this summer?

    Lol, we ARE a busy group! As for me... week 1: family camp with Cub Pack in mountains NW of Flagstaff, AZ week 2: Cub Scout Res Camp with the den at R-C Scout Res in Payson week 4: Drop daughter at GS camp to commune with horses, go to summer camp (Geronimo)with BS troop week 5: Collect daughter week 7: Family camping trip (add 2 cousins): Grand Canyon North Rim, Bryce Canyon, Zion Sprinkle with Pack and GS troop summertime fun events. Apply sunscreen liberally and hang out by the pool; teach kids to manage the house.
  15. Cheerful Eagle

    Parenting -- Girl (Scout) on a Mission

    Well, gee PD, you can too do some other fundraising. Ya, I know council stipulates you have to participate in the fall product and cookie sales, but the key word is "participate". One case of cookies = participation. One nut order = participation. There. Participated. Done IT. Now you can get down to some "real" fundraising.
  16. Cheerful Eagle

    Parenting -- Girl (Scout) on a Mission

    OMG I was abducted by aliens and my evil duplicate agreed to be cookie manager for my troop this year. Never Again. I have NOTHING good to say about girl scout cookies. NOTHING. Next year I WILL NOT do it. I will support my daughter in as much as she wants to do it, but I will also suggest each scout sell a token anount and then we have a garage sale or car wash or something else. ANYTHING else. Seeing scouting reduced to pimping for a cookie manufacturer and council makes me feel nauseous (we only keep 12.5% of the cost per box, even Trails End is better than that, and no-one thinks Boy Scouts = popcorn).
  17. Cheerful Eagle

    Another Girl Scout makeover on the Way

    GW has a really good point. Personally, I'm kind of sick of the gyrations GSUSA keeps going through to "remake" themselves. IMHO National has lost all sense of "true north" and is all caught up in trying to be trendy. Scouting was never for trendy, fashionable, "it" girls. We scouts are the minority who wanted to get dirty, sleep outside in a tent, and play capture the flag. We are constantly sabatauged by the division into tiny single age group units, lack of support for adult leaders. lack of a trained troop committee chair or sizable pool of parent volunteers.
  18. Cheerful Eagle

    Girl Planning and progression in using the patrol system

    Well, I was asked for updates, so here we go... One patrol elected their Pl as I pretty much as I expected. The other is a bit unexpected, as the scout is often NOT at the troop meetings. Oh well, I guess the APL will have more work to do than usual... Each girl has a specific role in the patrol, and as the patrols grow, I will add positions. Currently each patrol has a PL, APL, Finance Officer, and Recorder. The PL notebook (a looseleaf binder)has a roster, attendance sheet and badge record sheet-- more to add later. The Recorder has a paper binder with forms for recording plans (what we decided, volunteers and who will bring what) as well as stationary for thankyou notes and invites. The Financial Officer has a form to record dues collected, and a form to request reimbursment, as well as deposit slips for our bank accont. I plan to add Safety Officer and Equipment Manager as the next two positions. Last week I put the kabosh on hitting fast food restaurants for lunch inbetween meetings and outings (we meet Saturday mornings, and often participate in council events or go on outings in the afternoon). So we are experimenting with GS outdoor cooking techniques. OK, yes, they are only really good as novelty items (Buddy burners and box ovens), but we'll have fun. We keep adding younger girls (eend of 3rd grad) and a couple have NEVER BEEN on an overnight to a friends, much less sleep outside... sigh. So I'm going to have to add some graduated activities for the younger girls, while still keeping the trips we have planned for the older (we're going camping in the mountains near Flagstaff in May -- its about a 2 hr drive from home -- not a trip for someone who's going to want Mom to come pick her up at 11:30 pm).
  19. Cheerful Eagle

    Parenting -- Girl (Scout) on a Mission

    hooo boy, cookies.... don't get me started. The best thing I can say is, I did my time this year, we're almost done, and I will NEVER be in charge of it again so help me God. Well, ok I could also say, this is the only thing we do to support council and council camps. Gee, we should utilize them more...
  20. Cheerful Eagle

    Girl Scout Day Camp Ideas

    I can't really speak to day camp in specific, but I can recommend a framwork called "wide games" theres a great website that describes the concept in detail. I think it works great with the basic premise of scouting -- a game with a purpose. http://www.classb.com/resources/wide/widev100.pdf Our council in California (Pacific Skyline) had Cub-Parent weekends -- actually still does, I hear the upcoming one in may will be Summer Olympics themed -- and they are very sucessfull, and a lot of fun for all involved. In previous years they have done: Cubs in Space Indy's Mountain Cub Adventure Boulder Creek School of Wizardry Cubs of the Round Table Neverland (Peter Pan) The possibilities are endless. Good Luck and Have FUN! It seemed to work best if you can have several staff development meetings where ideas can be hatched, fleshed-out and adopted by a staff person.
  21. Cheerful Eagle

    BOGUK! What Fun!

    Oh, Anne, this is great! Everyone should check this out! Just google BOGUK. If you get a bit wistful about doing badges when you work with your scouts, this is for you! cool.
  22. Cheerful Eagle

    Drawing lessons from BSA program...

    First, the background... I am a Cubscout leader, been to Philmont, been to Woodbadge (2x, second as TG)... my first scouting loyalty is to BP. I am also mom to a wonderful 11 year old girl, who wishes she could do all the cool things her brothers do. (And yes, we have the Venturing crew membership form filed at home and ready to be signed on her 14th birthday). I have done Daisies, Brownies and now Juniors with her as a leader -- done the training too. Last year we moved to a new state and started a troop from scratch (there were no GS troops at her school). We have a SMALL troop (8 scouts). The GS program looks more like the BS program than the Cub program in that there are dozens of badges one can work on, and little overall yearly program goal (aside from the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards that are roughly analgous to Star, Life, and Eagle ranks). NOW the question: When you have little direction from the program, how do you start to build a calander for your troop meetings and outings? Especially given you are (basically) starting with a small group of 11 year olds? I'd love to hear stories from SM's who have started small with a group of inexperienced youngsters! The good news is that we have a good relationship with my Cub Pack, and are planning on partnering with them for family camp and community service like scouting for food. (This message has been edited by cheerful Eagle)(This message has been edited by cheerful Eagle)
  23. As some of my Girl Scouts are leaving 5th grade (turning 11) I am starting to consider how to help them be prepared to enter a Venturing crew when they are 14. I'm used to thinking about moving Webelos to First Class, but there are several differences here with the girls. The difference that FEELS the biggest is that I don't have an established troop to hand them off to (grin). They will continue to be part of a mixed age troop (4rth grade and up, though we have taken in girls in the second semester of 3rd grade). The older girls are the first in our troop to turn 11. We are also a "young troop" compared with the traditions usually accompanying a BSA troop. Most of what we do, well, we've never done it before. To complicate matters, GSUSA is changing its programing AGAIN. So while I am taking the level specific training for Cadettes (grades 6&7), the new materials aren't avaliable yet. I'm about ready to chuck most of the GS guidelines. Matriarchies tend to be so micromanaging they make my head spin. But that's another thread. I'd appreciate advice from Venturing advisors out there. Would it be helpful for me to sit through a BSA class on venturing? Any other advice? Thanks!
  24. Hi all! My Junior troop is volunteering at a Horse rescue ranch in Northern Phoenix this spring as part of our Bronze Award service project. I'd like to develope a badge (scouters - think webelos-level type requirements) that empasizes the part of the mustang in the history of the southwest. Any ideas? links? resoueces? Thanks
  25. Cheerful Eagle

    Girl Planning and progression in using the patrol system

    Well, I introduced the patrol method to the girls yesterday, and they loved it. I though long and hard bou how to divide up the girls, and decided I wanted to avoid the "popularity contest" method of determiing patrol members (PL's pick members in a chooseing up sides kind of process). I ended up divvying scouts more or less according to "geographic" origin. One patrol is mostly from the same school, one is mostly from the same church -- this way they can communicate a bit easier in between meetings. I also split a couple of sisters, so they wouldn't be in the same patrol. I brought in patrol flags that I had made from remnent rip-stop nylon, pennant style, and pinned a plain colored 6" paper circle to. I explained that we were too big now to easily plan and do some activities as a big group, and that the patrols would work together on that sort of thing. We were decorating t-shirts for our "activity" uniform, so I bought some 2" ribbon in the patrol colors (yellow and blue) and they glued a bit of ribbon in their patrol color on the right sleeve. Next week we will vote for Patrol leaders, and I will have a "open" court of honor so everyone can see what one will be like. So I have one week to put together PL notebooks and handbooks. YIKES The scouts were pretty excited about the patrols, I even heard comments like, "we should see which patrol can sell more cookies at the booth tomorrow!"