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About Chippewa29

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  1. There are multiple perspectives for these situations. In general, I am opposed to siblings being on campouts. In cases where either the sibling goes or the campout is cancelled, then let the sibling go and make sure the parent keeps them in line. Otherwise, they can visit, but not stay. During the 90's and early 2000's, my troop was pretty small and we were in the situation where a younger sibling needed to come or the campout didn't happen. It wasn't ideal, but it is what was needed to make things work. Once my troop got bigger and we had multiple adults coming on campouts, we still had s
  2. In my troop, once we built up, we had five patrols of 7-9 Scouts each. When I left two years ago, we had one patrol with 9-12 grade, one patrol with 9th grade, one patrol with 8th grade, one patrol with 7th grade, and one NSP. Instead of a Troop Guide, we would have a 13 or 14 year old Scout act as patrol leader for the NSP for the first year (after which a couple of Scouts from the NSP would have reach First Class and they were ready to lead the patrol). This PL would act like a TG, but we gave him the title of PL as well as the vote like the other patrol leaders. We like have the age
  3. They way my troop was structured, the patrol leaders were responsible planning the program for their patrol (in coordination with the patrol members and advisor). The SPL worked with the patrol leaders to coordinate their activities. The SPL also had an ASPL whose job it was to plan campouts. The SPL also worked with another ASPL to help coordinate the troop staff (Scribe, Historian, Librarian, etc.) The SPL was like the CEO of the troop. He only led other leaders. The patrol leaders ran the program week to week. The troop leaders supported the programs of the patrols.
  4. Several years ago, my troop had three patrols and no one wanted to be SPL. We took it as an opportunity to reinforce the patrol method. The main reason why no one wanted to be SPL was because of the large amount of planning they needed to do for meetings and campouts. The patrol leaders, on the other hand, didn't really do much (everyone wanted to be a patrol leader or ASPL). Since no one wanted to be SPL, we shifted all responsibility to the PL's. It was the best thing that could have happened to the troop and patrols. Each PL planned his weekly meetings and the three coordinated joint activi
  5. My troop has had some similar issues with certain Scouts who just take a position and don't do anything so they can either wear a patch or get credit for their next rank. We are currently implementing a system we hope will help improve job performance. Each POR has a set of performance objectives based on their responsibilities. Obviously, the SPL description is much different than the historian, librarian,etc. In each objective, they are rated from 1 (poor) to 5 (outstanding). There are very clear descriptions of what it takes to get each rating. Each month, every youth leader is ev
  6. 1. My troop has two "washing machines" made out of five gallon buckets and plungers. One day, our oldest Scout was goofing around with the younger kids by showing them how the plungers would suck onto their backs and they could get yanked around by them. About fifteen Scouts had a great time playing with those that afternoon. 2. Every year, we do daily tent inspections to make sure the Scouts are keeping their tents clean and organized. The winning tent(s) each day get to go to the trading post on the SM's dime. One day, I told the Scouts that the winning patrol (average score) woul
  7. Here is an interesting article from the Detroit News regarding kids using cell phones when they go to camp in the summer. http://www.detnews.com/article/20110807/METRO/108070314/Cellphones-give-parents-link-to-summer-camp I'd like to hear some thoughts from my fellow Scouters on what they think about this.
  8. My troop now has about 43 Scouts, about 85-90% are active. In the last 2 1/2 years, we've grown from nine Scouts to our current size. We are obviously pretty bottom heavy right now. I've always felt that 40-something was the ideal troop size. While we don't officially have a cut off or limit, we feel that if the troop grows to over fifty Scouts and is going to stay that way, then we will split into two troops. We have a troop in our district that had 80-90 Scouts for years. They would generally have 40-45 on a campout and lose a majority of the new Scouts that joined each year. The SM r
  9. A couple of points here: 1. When my troop has Webelos coming to visit, we always have one or two Scouts act as their hosts for the evening. These are usually really friendly Scouts who like the challenge of introducing every guest to every member of the troop. 2. We always make sure the Webelos participate in the troop meetings. What fun is it for the Webelos to come and sit and be quiet? We also make sure they come to a troop meeting where there is going to be activity. Webelos are always more than welcome to come to a COH, or when we do our semi-annual elections, but I tell the WL
  10. When I was sixteen, I got to drive an '82 Vette....Chevette. Basically, a golf cart with doors and windows. With its lightweight V4 engine, I wasn't able to get into too much speed trouble.
  11. As far as our relationships with Cub packs go, we don't do anything really special. We make sure that we offer to help with School Night in September, invite the Webelos to a couple of campouts a year, and try to help out during Pinewood Derby season. What I've discovered over the years is that when we bring in Webelos, we try to get them into interact with our Scouts. If they get along well, we have a great chance of them joining our troop. I also sit down with the parents during the visit to explain how we do things and find out what they are looking for. If they want a babysitting
  12. Pioneer- Thanks for the compliment. I've always been someone who had multiple interests I wished to pursue. I knew very early on that my Scouting time was limited and that my priority was to help build up my troop (we had six Scouts when I took over and after crossovers this year, will be just under forty). When I step down as SM eventually, I may take a district level position that won't be as time intensive as being the Scoutmaster of a troop. My decision also was based on a couple of other factors as well. The district and our OA lodge have had very solid leadership for year
  13. I recently celebrated my ten year anniversary of being SM of my troop. I've wondered this question myself for the past few years. Fortunately, my troop is doing very well and is probably stronger than its ever been. I'm having fun with it and we're building up a very good corps of adult leaders. A couple of thoughts on the subject. People are often afraid that if they leave, the unit will perish and all that time and effort they put in will have been wasted. First of all, the guidance and experiences you gave to the youth will have had a very positive impression on their lives. That
  14. A couple of comments on the discussion: 1. After seeing numerous Webelos "crossover" and then disappear for whatever reason, the past two years, I have made sure I sat down with every Scout coming into the troop and at least one parent to tell them about the troop, what they can expect, and what we expected of them in return. This minimized the pre-conceived notions they may have had. As part of this, I asked them to make a six month commitment to the meetings and activities. Basically, to treat it like a sports station. I told the parents they if they were just going "try it for a coup
  15. Very interesting discussion here. I have a couple of points on getting the Eagle Award: 1. Not all Eagles are created equal. Every troop has Eagle Scouts that not only fulfill the requirements, but take in every growth opportunity possible from the Scouting program. There are also those who do the bare minimum to get their Eagle, then are never seen or heard from after their ECOH. In either case, the young man is not a finished product, but the ones who make the most of their Scouting experience are the ones who tend to be more productive adults. 2. Getting the Eagle award takes abou
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