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christineka

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Everything posted by christineka

  1. christineka

    merit badge counselor

    So, you don't need either worksheets or the merit badge books? I am not particularly fond of worksheets.
  2. christineka

    merit badge counselor

    There are only older scouts. My son would be 5 years younger than the next youngest scout. The first community troop I found had only 11 year olds and so I kept looking to find a troop with a range of ages of boys. This troop is the opposite with only older boys. Next week they're doing an activity that is only for 12 and up,so my son can't participate. I do think that an active program is important. I apologize if it sounded like I thought camping and working on merit badges was not appropriate. To the contrary. They just sorta left out the part about saying the pledge or wearing any semblance of a uniform, or having boys as leaders or anything of that scout-y type stuff. ("Pledge" was pulling the folded flag out of the bag, raising it in the air and proclaiming that part to have been completed.) The boys were really nice and helped my son with his cutting. They let him have the clamp because he wasn't allowed to use power tools, as they were.
  3. christineka

    merit badge counselor

    He explained the merit badge process to me and my son: go on meritbadge.org, look through the list, pick something of interest (or looks easy), print the worksheet, do the worksheet, then return it. He stated that he and a lady, who is the mother of one of the boys are emts, so they are qualified to teach first aid. he also stated he was a trumpet player, which qualified him for bugling. I asked about counselors and he said they weren't needed for most badges. His troop is of older boys. Not sure I want my barely 11 year old son around only 16-17 year old boys. They seem to be more of an adventure club than scouters, but maybe we caught them on an off night? They apparently camp once a month as well as do a merit badge once a month. I don't see them working on rank advancement for my son, though. My son did enjoy himself, making a pinewood derby car. It's the first time he was ever allowed to cut it himself. (I know he should have been able to before, but he wasn't allowed by his father.) I'll email the 11 year old leader to see if there are any other community troops. He has access to the database of them all.
  4. christineka

    The boy scout uniform

    A fourth boy will join the troop this summer. The scout leader intends to have the older three teach the younger boy when he comes into the troop.
  5. christineka

    The boy scout uniform

    Oh- boy looked at the book. I showed him where the rank requirements were. I think he is shocked that in boy scouts he won't be awarded for every little thing he does. I've often wondered why boys start out in cubs, having to do a relatively large amount of work just for one badge (we didn't do beads), and then the year before boy scouts, get awarded for every little thing he does. It just seems backwards. I would think the younger the boy, the more immediate rewards would be needed.
  6. christineka

    The boy scout uniform

    Thanks all! We went to the local scout shop and picked up numbers, loops, the handbook, and a second arrow of light badge. (Boy lost his between ceremony and home.) I meticulously picked out the old numbers (second hand shirt) and added the new numbers (for the lds troop) and the arrow of light. At this point, I am not sewing it on the cub shirt for a few weeks to just have to pick out the stitches to move it to the boy scout shirt. I'll move the knot when he changes shirts. The thought of numbers held on by velcro, sounded like a recipe to lose numbers. Boy has a second, slightly larger shirt. (I bought a large lot of shirts, sold all but two, and essentially got the two for free.) He can have community numbers on that one. If we do two shirts, would you go buy a second set of arrow of light and religious knot or just not worry about it?
  7. christineka

    The boy scout uniform

    The 11 year old leader talked to me yesterday afternoon. (His wife is webelos leader for the other pack that we're working with.) He's really excited and has plans to get the boys to 1st class in 6 months (I think that's what he said- it was 3 ranks, starting at tenderfoot) He asked some bgwig about merit badges and they can earn them right away. He's having the one and only current 11 year old earn merit badges right now, so that he doesn't have to repeat the rank stuff in March when two more boys come in. (I had a similar issue with webelos, with the lds way of boys changing ranks on their birthday.) He said he plans to get the boys to earn citizenship and first aid and because there is only 3 boys and only 3 allowable campouts, they'll each have a turn being camp cook. I really need to go get that book because this guy is speaking about stuff I don't know! (Scout shopping is on the agenda for today.) He said my son needs green loops because that changed with the centennial of scouting in utah. 11 year old leader is apparently district commissioner (whatever that is) and is very supportive of my son joining a community troop. Apparently, he's friends with the guy, who runs the only good community troop. (He and his wife do cub scouts in the community) I plan to bring my son over to visit tonight.
  8. christineka

    The boy scout uniform

    I was planning a trip to the local scout shop to pick up the book and whatever else was needed. His is currently a webelos, but will become a boy scout by the end of the month. We are lds and the lds troop right now has one boy in it. They largely don't even bother with uniforms. We still have to go to visit the community troop. He may join that one in addition to our lds troop, simply because the troop needs boys. If he does join both troops, which numbers should he have on his shirt? The scout master has said that the boys aren't supposed to earn merit badges until after the first year at least, but the 11 year old scout leader says he can start once he's a boy scout.
  9. christineka

    Need valentine themed games!

    Already thought of that- there are no boys without moms or moms that can't come at that day/time.
  10. christineka

    The End of Belt Loops

    Can you provide a source for this? I can't find anything online that says the belt loops are going away. It would have quite a big impact on the program - it would require rewriting a lot of the Webelos requirements and a huge chunk of the NOVA program, both of which require the earning of specific belt loops. As for whether or not it'd be a good idea - I'm on the side with others that say they should be kept. It seems that most of the arguments against them have to do with specific Pack decisions about whether or not to focus on them or how they are presented, which don't really strike me as reasons to dump the program. I will say that they do make the belt kind of a hassle to get on, and smaller kids (like mine) will surely run out of space on the belt if they earn enough, but I say that's a good problem to have. We had a new scout join our Bear den recently. His mom decided that Scouts would be a good way for her son to bond with her new fiance, so the boy wasn't completely sold on the notion, either. At our first meeting, I picked up immediately that he was very shy and didn't feel he fit in. Therefore, I changed my meeting plan at the last minute and had the boys earn the Music belt loop, since it was something I could do with materials I had on hand. His attitude towards Scouts changed 100% the following week at the Pack meeting when he got to stand up in front of everyone and get an award. My almost 11 year old son now has two belts- one was his father's. He had to split his loops in half between belts. He has maybe earned half the loops.
  11. christineka

    scouts at the kitchen table

    What's your take on holding scouts at the kitchen table? Totally acceptable? I homeschool my kids, so sitting at the kitchen table, discussing or doing book work seems too much like school for my tastes.
  12. christineka

    scouts at the kitchen table

    I'm waffling between being silent and going along with the way things are, or rocking the boat.
  13. christineka

    Readyman

    Several of the achievements require the boy to show how to respond. That does not involve sitting in a chair! I would first teach (and probably getting some medical people out), then set up some scenarios (you can get some fake blood if you like) and have the boys show how to treat various injuries. There is some good stuff to look at in the den meeting planning guide.
  14. We had our initial meeting tonight for our pack merger. (This is lds scouts.) The other pack does 1 pack meeting, 1 pack activity, and 2-3 den meetings per month, depending on how the weeks fall in the month. It sounds good, until they say their pack activity is usually some kind of party. I am so not into parties. It also sounds like their budget is bigger than ours and we're now supposed to be splitting the cost, except that we give 5.5 boys (one moves to boy scouts in 2 months) and they have 15. It would seem more reasonable for them to pay 2/3 and we pay 1/3. The money comes from the church and is based on various factors, including how many kids are participating. I talked to my new webelos co-leader. Their boys can earn webelos, but aren't awarded it until they earn arrow of light, which is usually right at their birthday. Their arrow of light ceremonies are big, huge deals, where the entire pack meeting is focused on the one boy and is even whatever theme the boy wants to do and they have many boys earning arrow of lights (having birthdays) every month or two, which translates into having most pack meetings arrow of light ceremonies. My 2 webelos have earned arrow of light. One moves on soon, but the other has another 6 months in webelos. They have one boy who needs to go visit a boy scout meeting with his den this month, which means we have to go do that too. They just did showman, so they don't want to do it again. My younger boy hasn't. I'm a little bummed out. Anyway, it's hard for me to let go, but I guess I have to. Is that weird that the boys aren't awarded webelos until they earn arrow of light?
  15. christineka

    Combining packs/dens different ways of doing things

    Apparently, we are just combining our efforts, not actually combining packs. We are still our own units. My new partner and I had to plan January meetings. She wanted to go to the newspaper and do communicator. She even asked me what other achievements I'd like to do. I looked them over and told her what I thought the boys would enjoy. She responded that she wanted to do other achievements and she already has planned what to do. Oh, well. I guess I'm just an accessory now. I'll just show up so she's got her 2-deep leadership and do whatever she asks me to do. I'm not going to fight this. (Even though I think the boys would really enjoy writing messages to each other in secret code.)
  16. christineka

    The End of Belt Loops

    My son plays piano and writes music competitively. We are not a sporty family. Having my son earn sport belt loops is good for him. He doesn't participate in any organized sports activities. He also doesn't go to school, so he doesn't have pe. The sport belt loops gave my son an introduction to the sports. (He was rather confused on how to play some very popular sports.) The academic belt loops, while very basic, still require effort and give the boy an introduction to the topic. My son was gun ho on belt loops for awhile, but there are several that he only completed 2 of the 3 requirements. Now, I've see belt loops "earned" at cub camp. That is not right. The boys only partially complete 2 of the requirements and then are awarded the loop anyway. That kind of stuff happens at the pack and den level as well. (or at least in my pack) I don't agree with that. Boys love awards. Or many do anyway. I think it is good for boys to try out different activities and academic subjects.
  17. christineka

    The End of Belt Loops

    Our pack tends to have the boys earn hardly any belt loops until they become webelos. (Belt loops are required or an option for many activity badges.) Most of our boys and families don't even know about belt loops until the webelos year. Webelos seems to be the year of earning lots of bling! It feels a little unfair for the little boys to have to do so much and only earn a patch with some little arrow patches, that are often not sewn onto the uniform. (My son lost a few before I could get them attached.) Our younger boys only earned belt loops when we did a pack activity to earn them. (It's hard to play team sports with only 3 boys and 2 team sport belt loops are required to earn sportsman.)
  18. christineka

    Combining packs/dens different ways of doing things

    I guess things aren't as bad as they seemed The other pack only has two webelos- or had two. One had his birthday already and didn't complete aol. (Not sure if he'll be awarded webelos, since I assume he already earned it, but wasn't awarded it because he hadn't earned aol yet.) The other boy's birthday is in February and he's almost done. Then we'll have one boy move up in February. Hopefully, we can try to work together. I like to make plans and schedules for the boys to earn their rank/aol when they move into webelos, rather than get to 2 months before the birthday to then think about it and give parent a huge list of things that need to be completed. Good point about the wearing of the webelos' badge. That will be my argument for the next kid, who earns webelos. Our boys do wear blue because parents tend to buy the blue shirt sufficiently large enough to get kid through age 10, so the tan shirt can last a bit longer. I know my son enjoys wearing everything he's earned. (Which reminds me that I have to get my son to sew his aol patch onto his shirt.) I do not have any aspirations for any other boy to earn all 20 activity badges- just my son, because I know he can do it. He is a go-getter type, goal setter, and brilliant. (This is really not just the mom part of me talking. My older son is a prodigy.) I do have a goal for the boys to earn their religious knot. I will propose this to my new co-leader.
  19. christineka

    New Cub Scout Adventure Program - Starting in May 15

    I hope they figure some way of transitioning things for LDS packs. My youngest son enters cub scouts Feb 2015. I don't want him to have to change what he's doing 3 months into his scouting career.
  20. christineka

    Combining packs/dens different ways of doing things

    We did sit down and discuss. So far, it's mostly we do what they do. I would like for us all to sit down and read the manual/handbook and then do what it actually says. I think some disagreements would be solved by us just doing what we're supposed to, instead of each of us having our own way of doing things.
  21. christineka

    Need fun things to do or make

    My plans need to be altered. We were going to do showman this month, but no one came last meeting and since we're going to merge with another pack next month, I see no point in starting a new badge this month. This week will be our last meeting. We're going to make pipe cleaner (borax) crystals. The boys have already earned scientist, but didn't do crystals. I want to make them because they are neat and can be delicately hung on a Christmas tree as ornaments. Other than that, I don't know what to do. I want to do something fun and festive. I have one boy, who needs to finish craftsman (make something not out of wood). I had considered making Christmas gifts. I wanted to make those mom brag lanyards after seeing one at arrow of light and knowing my pins are just hanging out in a drawer, but the instructions I found are a bit too complicated for the boys' sewing skills. (They do have some now- because I taught them.) We could bake cookies or make fudge or something??? I don't know. I'm kinda boring like that and not crafty at all. Please suggest some fun things we might do this last meeting before Christmas, last meeting of the year, and last meeting of 1/3 of the boys. (There are only 3.)
  22. christineka

    Need fun things to do or make

    Thanks! I think we're going to decorate cookies and take to boys, who have fallen away from scouts.
  23. Last month we did all the boring boy scout knowledge stuff at den meeting, but one boy was missing. I intended to redo today, except no one came (other than my kid). Another boy needs to pass off a mental skills activity badge in order to earn aol. He was even given an exception since he's only been a webelos for 5 months. (This is LDS scouts, where he will be a webelos for a year, so we figured it didn't matter a whole lot.) Oldest boy's mother is scout master. Can she just go over the boy scout stuff with him and pass it off? He has to earn arrow of light this month, since his birthday is early January. Neither one of the moms respect that the den leader is supposed to pass things off, but I had just gotten the youngest boy's mom to accept it. She emailed just today, saying her son would come prepared to pass off scholar, but he didn't come. Should I make another den meeting for these boys? Make a personal visit to their homes? Just let moms pass off? Pass it off just before the ceremony? Arrow of light ceremony is next Tuesday night.
  24. christineka

    What to do about aol requirements- ceremony next week!

    I met the oldest boy just before pack meeting tonight. I handed him the rope and asked for a square knot. He was rather flustered. His mom came over and showed him. Gotta love it. He earned his aol, though and so did my son, and the younger boy. I looked into the traditional troop in town. Their oldest boys are 11. I will ask around to see if there are any other tradition troops in town.
  25. christineka

    What to do about aol requirements- ceremony next week!

    Apparently oldest boy's family had the stomach bug, so I'm glad he didn't come. Last time he did in this situation, my family came down with it (starting with myself and my son) 2 days later. Other boy's family just forgot about scouts. I guess I'll just meet with them tomorrow to get them passed off. The latest news for scouts is that we're going to merge all under 12 scouts with a neighboring congregation, that also has a very small program, so small in fact that they only have one 11 year old scout, so my son with be with only one different boy. I was given the contact info for the non-denominational group, but the guy apparently doesn't respond to emails, so I need to remember to call sometime. I hear the troop has a lot of lds boys, who were dissatisfied with their ward's version of scouts. Now sure if I can afford to pay for regular scouts, though. I hear it's really expensive.
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