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About cjmiam

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  1. cjmiam

    National Camp School

    I went 3 times in program and management. There are a lot of variables with NCS staff. They should be "the best", but sometimes they are just some person filling the spot. You could have a blast and you could be let down. The good thing is even if you have a less than stellar instructor, there is still a lot to learn from the others in your session. Take things that your camp does well along with you to share with others. Be ready for some long days and like others said keep an open mind. Your session will probably be a lot more fun than my last couple management sessions were. I do envy the program guys
  2. cjmiam

    Here we go again...

    Packsaddle, were you asking me for that tax clarification? I have no clue what taxes are being paid by the corporation. I was referring to the Scouts, parents, volunteers, and potential new members of the program. All tax-paying Americans, even the little Cub Scout that bought a candy bar at the local gas station and paid an extra 6% on his purchase -- entitling him the right to set his little fanny on that beach and build the biggest sand castle imaginable and then ask the parks committee if theyd like to swim in his moat. But I agree, let's wait for a decision.
  3. And before you get a chance to alter my meaning and intent and insinuate I am advocating a troop ran by buffoons... let me remind you that when I use the term training I am referring specifically to the courses offered by possible quality BSA personnel such as Fast Start, Basic, Wood Badge, ect., that allows us the honor of sewing that prestigious Trained patch on our shoulder.
  4. Bob, You wrote, Nowhere did I say that being trained was the same as being a quality leader. No and that is not what I was inferring. But you do seem to be quite set on the fact that the ONLY way we can achieve quality leaders is through training. And that is where we differ. Your equation is: Leader + Training + successful at aims and mission of Scouting = Quality Leader = Quality Program And Im saying: Leader + or - Training + successful at aims and mission of Scouting = Quality Leader = Quality Program And while Im sure you have seen many examples where your equation works, I have seen many examples where my equation has worked as well. I would mention their names, but it wouldnt matter because you wouldnt know them. So then I started to think about some people you might know. I thought about your comparison to other professional activities that need training like how to be a teacher, firefighter, or any other job. Don Shula for example, the winningest coach in NFL history. What coaching school did Mr. Shula go to that made him so good? I didnt find it in his biography, but I did find his philosophy on winning. To be the best, you have to have passion and dedication. Seems like he know what he was talking about with 347 victories. I wonder about Steven Spielberg that dropped out of film school, Harry Truman that never got past high school, Thomas Edison with only 3 months of formal education and Bill Gates that dropped out of Harvard. Remember, Im not against training. I just dont think its always necessary to get quality. And with regard to the Quality Unit award Its because the leaders haven't gone to training or don't follow the program. That may be ONE reason, but Id bet just as many if not more just don't fill out the application. And they dont fill it out because: 1. its usually done during charter time when they already have enough headaches. 2. can't find their commissioner or dont know who their commissioner is to have them sign it 3. because it requires record-keeping and paperwork and people get enough of that at work 4. because there really is no benefit to it is there? I mean look at the requirements. Anyone with a Quality Program knows it and they dont need a patch to show it especially if the way of getting that patch is meeting requirements that they did in the first half of their Scouting year.
  5. Bob, this is where I think weve reached an impasse. It seems that you feel training provides quality leaders. While I agree that training is an important part of being a quality leader, I dont think it opens any magical door to make a quality leader or guarantee a quality program. You cant train a person personal motivation, passion, love, personal sacrifice, commitment, positive attitude or a personal desire to make the world a better place. You cant train a leader the drive that SR540Beaver exhibited when trying to find a place to meet and a charter for his unit. I believe it is these traits and many others that give us quality leaders willing to provide time, money and many other resources to the children in our program. I believe that quality training helps them to learn more about our program and how we as leaders are best utilized in the Scouting organization. But see, I now need to qualify even our training. Im not sure how many hours Ive sat through training at every level, but I can guarantee you that not one of those hours gave me a badge saying that if I successfully utilized what I learned I could call myself a quality leader. Unfortunately after some training sessions, I had to wonder whether everyone wasnt just a little dumber than when we started. Most of the training that Ive enjoyed has allowed me to share and learn from others as I think that is what much training should be about. The know-it-all trainer does the entire group a disservice by not allowing the assets of the group to be shared. Granted there are times for policy and safety issues when instruction is essential, but most of the Scouting workshops and training seminars come from sharing. Learning the aims and methods of Scouting doesnt have to occur only through Fundamentals, Fast Start or Wood Badge. I can picture hundreds of leaders that Ive met through the years many with no beads around their neck, yet their 20, 30 and 40 or more years of service to our organization are heralding examples of quality leadership. I cant imagine considering them inferior leaders because they have not been officially trained. Motivating kids to join our program and stick with it is our challenge. We have little value if we cant understand the ever-changing needs of the kids we serve. While our program stays steadfast to its founding principles and our Mission remains the same, our marketing has changed as well as many aspects of our program. Selling kids on the idea that well help them achieve their full potential isnt going to fly. So we have the opportunity to help them want to be in Scouting. And the assets available to us are only limited by our imagination and resources. Its a proven fact that Scouts that attend summer camp are more likely to stay in Scouting and Scouts that reach 1st Class in their first year are more likely to stay in Scouting. I also believe that troops with active outdoor programs will keep their Scouts interested therefore more likely to stay in Scouting. I think its clear that high adventure activities will keep kids in Scouting. I argue that all of these things and many more contribute to the quality of our programs and our ability to recruit and retain our members.
  6. SR540Beaver, That was a nice story. And thanks for sharing. I have no doubt that your efforts were the reason you now have a charter and place to meet. I dont think I was suggesting the exclusion of a certain type of organization. Sorry if thats how it appeared. But Bob was trying to ask me what I felt was more important than quality leaders or something of that sort, when I never asserted that there was a substitute or equivalence. It was then that I used some fundamental items needed to have a troop. Bob asserted that a quality leader would overcome those obstacles and you just proved it to be the case. But that wasnt the point. I was using it as equal importance. Im guessing five kids could probably find a quality leader if they had the desire to do so as well. Im guessing a local organization could find five kids to join Scouting. Its simply the point that you must have a charter, you must have a safe place to meet, you must have quality leaders, and you must have kids that want to be in your program, they arent mutually exclusive. My original argument never was meant to trump the importance of a good leader. However, I believe many aspects are involved in a quality program that will gain a childs interest and keep him involved in our program. And based on a units resources, these aspects may grow or lessen.
  7. cjmiam

    Here we go again...

    Yeah the heck with equal access. Its not like they pay taxes or anything. Its not like they are members of the public. Its not like theyve probably had work days to clean up that beach. To put is simply, if this happened in my neck of the woods Id do everything humanly possible (lawfully of course) to get those individuals out of office. The good news? I think our country is fed up with this kind of garbage from people that shout for tolerance from the mountaintops yet dont tolerate any opinions differing from their own. That are so concerned with a freedom of choice as long as it coincides with how theyd chose. I feel a growing momentum in our country that is revealing these individuals for the frauds that they are. Have faith and fight the good fight.
  8. cjmiam

    National alcohol policy

    Actually I believe the highest cause of crashes was found to be rubbernecking. Eyes wandering off on something more interesting than the road. But thats beside the point. Dave originally was asking how the camp director should respond. And I believe that the camp director has a legal duty to respond with more than just reporting. Again, it probably depends on how it is worded in their guidelines. But the camp director may have no clue who the guy is in the car. It might be the Scouts dad or anyone for that matter. But that too is beside the point. I believe that if laws are being broke on BSA property the camp director has a legal obligation to remove the child from that situation. I dont think things are as clear cut for volunteers at camp. The most significant difference comes down to whos liable. Right after the corporate entity, comes the administration which includes the camp director. Also, its much easier to prove the four elements of negligence against the camp director than it is the volunteer or another bystander. 1. The camp director has a duty to provide a safe environment. In a camp setting the camp director has a legal duty to act versus the moral duty. 2. The duty owed must be breeched by not performing the standard of care required for that environment and activity. 3. Proximate cause- the injury must be the result of the act or failure to act. 4. There must be actual damage sustained. So if a camp director does allow a law to be broken in such a way as some of you have described, he needs to hope and pray that nothing bad happens. Cause if there no number 4 they cant be sued for negligence. He could be fired, but thats probably about it. If you were the Scoutmaster on an outing and something like this occurred, you would probably be second on the list of liable right after the corporate entity. Something to think about I guess
  9. Well, that truly is a breakthrough Bob. Have you considered sharing this idea with Rod Paige? I really think the Department of Education could learn a lot from this concept. All theyd need to do is train teachers so that they learn the methods of teaching and we wouldnt have any more kids that dont know how to read. No more high school graduates unable to pass college entrance exams. No more kids being tardy or skipping school No more apathetic teenagers! It wouldnt cost a dime either, because as youve proven social and economic factors are not a factor. We all can get all of our tax dollars back for what we spend on education. Well, except for the cost of properly training those teachers so that they finally figure out how they are suppose to be teaching kids. And to think, all this time weve been worried about putting up new schools, replacing old textbooks and asbestos wrapped around the heating pipes. Easy... The quality program came first, then the leaders who learned how to do it, then the leaders who learned from them. Well, I didnt ask about a quality program, because I thought that is what you stated is the result of quality leaders. Somehow I think you jumped a step. So how did we get a quality program without quality leaders? What I am proposing isn't that "definition" of a quality leader is one who creates a quality program, but that the result of quality leadership is a quality program. The definition of a quality leader is one who is has taken training, learned the methods and apply them to achieve the aims and mission of scouting. So an untrained leader can never be a quality leader? And a Scout troop can never have a quality program if they dont have a trained leader? And if a Scout troop does not achieve the aims and mission of Scouting then it is the fault of whoever trained the trainer that trained the trainer that trained the trainer that trained the trainer So it must be Baden Powells fault because he did not train the person that trained the person that trained the person that trained the troop leader right? Id really like to get this straight, because the next time one of my Scouts guilty of unbecoming a product of the aims and methods of Scouting I want to know who to blame. It certainly wouldnt be the Scouts fault, because I was suppose to teach him better, but it couldnt be my fault because I was supposed to be trained better, so it must be either my trainers fault, or the guy that trained him fault
  10. Bob, You asked, And what element do you believe affects a quality program more than the ability of the unit leaders? And I responded that I never claimed such a thing exists, but there are several factors of at least the same importance. If you do not believe that having an organization willing to sponsor a unit is at least as important as quality leaders, I cannot help you. Granted, humankind has shown us its ingenuity, creativeness, and ability to overcome some of the most insurmountable tasks imaginable. I never claimed that we dont have the ability to cope, fix or reason. I am pointing out that you must have an organization within your community willing to sponsor a Scout troop before you can get a charter. No organization willing? No charter. You can say that a quality leader would find a sponsor, but what if he cant? Is he then not a quality leader? By golly by gosh, I knew our BSA training is pretty fantastic, but I never imagined that it would be responsible for training the quality leaders that would find the cure for cancer, A.I.D.S. and world hunger. Someone needs to get this to the A.P. ASAP B.W. Finds Cure to Fix all Problems: Quality Leaders. By the way Bob, Im just curious which came first the quality leader or the people that trained them?
  11. Laurie, quality leaders are a part of what I consider a quality program. Hunt, teaching friendliness to the Scouts and having them practice it is what Id consider a part of a quality program. Bob, Im not sure what you are talking about regarding a fun trap. I dont recall mentioning it, but since you did, Ill agree, fun is indeed a part of a quality program. And yes, Bob, I too agree that quality leaders are a part of a quality program as I did with Laurie. And what element do you believe effects a quality program more than the ability of the unit leaders? I dont think I recall stating that any certain thing was of the greatest importance. However, since you phrased it that way, Id have to say that several factors are at least of equal importance or greater. First, having an organization willing to sponsor the unit has a paramount effect on the quality of the program. Without a charter we dont have a unit or a program. Another element that Id say is paramount is having a safe meeting environment. If the unit has no place to meet that is safe the program would not be able to run. Of course as you stated, the unit leader. And finally the most obvious that affects the quality of a program is whether it has any Scouts. Its kinda difficult to run a quality program with no boys. I think the minimum to start a unit is five. Oh and one more thing I almost forgot, since our program is run by the PLC and SPL, Id have to say the quality of the SPL and PLC might be even more important than the quality of the unit leader when it comes to the quality of our unit's program.
  12. Well, first I didnt see an exclusion of Venturing in your original post. I saw simply Scout units. Can we offer a quality Venturing program without High Adventure? Bob, I believe Ive agreed with you in your original premise that quality volunteers are the key to achieving the Mission of Scouting. If you read my post, youll note that I did explain that even if our Scouts or we dont have the resources to go to summer camp or on some high adventure activity we can still achieve our Mission of instilling values in young people and prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime.
  13. Well, I don't have the publication number, but if you look in "The Building Blocks of Scouting" under Outdoor Program, you will find summer camp and high adventure both listed with large paragraphs about their benefits. I think it's clear that the BSA finds these important aspects of our program, as do I. Outdoor adventure could simply be camping in my back yard I suppose, but it certainly would be difficult to teach or learn a whole lot doing that all my life.
  14. While I agreed with the other thread as it was written by B.W., I had an expanding opinion that I wanted to share, but did not want to steer the thread astray. I do wholeheartedly agree that achieving the Mission of the BSA comes down to quality adult volunteers. However, I also believe that a quality program encompasses many other factors, many of which DO involve having the means to fulfill them. Further I believe that kids do not care about the quality of the leaders when they are deciding to join our program. Parents might care, but more times than not there has to be a desire from the boy to join before we get a new Scout in our program. And I believe only part of that desire is fulfilled by the leaders personal traits or qualities. While I believe that delivering our Mission should not be based on Scouting as a commodity, I do believe that to judge the effectiveness of the Scouting program we have to look at the number of children we serve and the way in which we serve them. Even the greatest and most noble Mission is meaningless without members to follow or achieve it. So I will keep my premise simple as well. The ability of a Scout unit to recruit and retain Scouts is based on one thing and one thing only. The quality of its program.
  15. Building character and instilling values in young people doesnt cost a cent. No amount of money will teach a kid how to make ethical choices over his lifetime or achieve his full potential. The ability of a unit to achieve its mission does rely on the quality of the adult volunteers. However, I do believe that part of the quality of one the building blocks of Scouting does rely on the ability of the unit to afford its costs. Specifically outdoor adventures. The cost of summer camp and high adventure activities can be a lot of money for some families. Is a unit achieving its mission if less than 50% of their membership attends summer camp because they cant afford it? Well, its difficult to instill anything in a Scout if they arent there. A lot can be learned on a high adventure trip, but what if only 1/3 of the troop can afford that? In my opinion, it doesnt lessen our ability to deliver our mission, but only creates an opportunity for us to work harder. Maybe it will be that sub-zero campout where we teach the Scouts strong personal values and character or the desire to learn. Or maybe its the 10-mile hike that doesnt cost a dime that teaches the Scout about caring and nurturing relationships with adults and peers. We have to look at Scouting not as a commodity, but instead as an state of being and way of life. Its our mission to provide our world with young men of character that will be our future leaders. If we have the resources to take them to neat places while we do it, great! It is ironic however that most of the posters and marketing materials I see for Scouting involve rock climbing, backpacking in some exotic land, sailing a big boat, etc. If thats how we entice kids to join are we not false advertising if we dont deliver? Ive asked that question many times whenever I get some new Join Scouting poster. I think incorporating these activities into the units program will certainly make it more rounded and give the boys some excellent experiences. But is is still my opinion as well that achieving our mission is indeed based on quality leaders.