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clemlaw

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Posts posted by clemlaw

  1. I suspect as such programs go, it's probably a pretty good one. The "activities in an open field" quote above is a bit of an exageration. :)

     

    I believe it does include swimming (pool), BB guns, archery, and some kind of boat rides.

     

    The council has day camp programs that include the BB guns and archery. For a Tiger Cub, they are big draws. But for $200, I'm sure we could buy a BB gun and a bow and arrow. Of course, is exactly what my Tiger Cub wants me to do, and he's even pointed out how they could be used in self-defense for the inevitable bigfoot attack. :)

     

    I think we're probably going to pass, based mostly on cost, and the fact that our summer is pretty full of various activities, including camping camping, as opposed to cabin camping.

     

    It might be just the thing for other families, though. This is a suburban pack, and for many of the families, this might be the closest they get to "camping".

  2. I made Eagle in 1978. Now, first of all, I do realize that this was during the "improved" Scouting program of the 1970's, but what I'm about to say would also be true during the 1960's. (I had already mostly completed the First Class requirements by the time of the switch over. Also, I--and every other Eagle I knew--completed mostly the same Eagle required MB's. There were alternates for many of them, such as Emergency Preparedness for Lifesaving, but I'm not aware of anyone who took advantage of the "easier" alternate required MB's.)

     

    When I made Eagle, I do remember thinking to myself that it wasn't really that big a deal. Basically, I had completed about 21 Merit Badges, most of which did not require any superhuman feats on my part. There was only one that I would describe as very difficult, and that was Lifesaving. In some ways, I'm more proud of that one MB than I am of the Eagle award itself. There were about 10 more required MB's. In most cases, I earned those as a result of just going along with the program, and showing up at camp. That's not to say that they were "signed off" just for showing up. But in the course of camping, I cooked meals, set up tents, paddled canoes, rowed boats, etc. We learned how to do most of these things for the sake of knowing how to do them. And in the course of actually engaging in these activities, we earned merit badges, and most of those were the required merit badges.

     

    Personally, I thought the dreaded "Citizenship" merit badges (there were three at the time, IIRC--community, nation, and world) were pretty easy. But I was more of a bookish kid, so maybe for the non-scholars, those were more difficult. But they weren't anything particularly difficult.

     

    That left about ten non-required merit badges. In some ways, most merit badges today are, indeed, "easier" than they were back then. Quite a few scouts have earned _all_ of the merit badges, which would have been impossible when I was a scout. It was impossible back then because a few were very hard, and a few more or less required that the scout live on a farm, and that the farm produce a particular product. For example, Cattle Production, Hog Production, etc., pretty much required that the Scout have access to the beast in question on a regular basis. It would be basically impossible for a city kid to earn this Merit Badge.

     

    Currently, as far as I can tell, there are no more "impossible" merit badges of this type. There are also fewer "difficult" merit badges, namely, a merit badge that requires a scout to gain mastery of an arcane skill. For example, Radio Merit Badge, when I earned it, required Morse Code at 5 Words Per Minute. While definitely not impossible, a Scout who does not have this interest to some extent is not going to learn Code just to earn a merit badge. Today, there are very few of these "difficult" merit badges.

     

    However, the current absence of "impossible" and "difficult" merit badges does _not_ explain why there are more Eagles. It is definitely not a case of the program being "dumbed down" from what it was in the 60's and 70's. Because while there are _more_ "easy" merit badges today than there were back then, the "easy" merit badges did exist back then.

     

    Then, as now, a Scout needs only about ten non-required Merit Badges. Today, there is a much wider selection to chose from. A city kid, if he wants to, can easily earn Animal Science merit badge, even though his counterpart from the 1960's would not have been able to earn the predecessor badges.

     

    But back in the day, we still had plenty of "easy" ones. Ones that come to mind (some of which I earned, some of which I did not), include: Basket Weaving (not sure of the name); Stamp Collecting; Coin Collecting: Fingerprinting; etc.

     

    Also, back in my day, most shop teachers (who may or may not have been certified MBC's) were willing to sign off scouts on the respective Merit Badge. For example, I earned drafting and printing based upon my teacher's signature. I imagine the course covered more or less the same topics as the MB, but as far as I know, the teacher never went through the requirements specifically.

     

    The long and short of it is that the 10 non-required MB's could be earned pretty easily, and the required MB's could be earned pretty easily just by showing up and participating in the program.

     

    The main thing that the Eagle badge demonstrates, IMHO, is that the Scout had a certain amount of perserverance. To earn Eagle, the Scout had to track down those 10 non-required MB's. Adults would give nudges when necessary, but they rarely set up "classes" in which Scouts could simply enroll.

     

    Also, the Scout had to stick with the program for a few years, long enough to go to camp, and engage in the activities that were going on there--like camping, cooking, canoeing, etc. During the process, it would be hard _not_ to earn most of the MB's.

     

    And occasionally, a few Scouts might require a gentle reminder that they had better call up Mr. ____ and make an appointment to start on _____ Merit Badge. Even that was pretty rare, but when they made the call, there weren't any particularly difficult requirements to meet.

     

    And Eagle projects have become more difficult. I doubt if my Eagle project would have qualified today. I know for sure that I would have had to document it better today. And I suspect that I would have been asked to add a few hours to follow up on it.

     

    My project was a little more arcane than most--it basically involved recruiting volunteers to work on an ongoing basis. Again, I suspect if I had proposed it today, I would be asked to do more follow up, to make sure that some volunteer activity actually took place as a result of my efforts. (I know it did, but I don't have any way to quantify it.) Most Eagle projects back then, as now, were construction projects. The difference is that, back then, the beneficiary was often a council camp. (A typical project was to cut logs and move them into place in an amphitheater or outdoor chapel.) Most projects from then would probably pass muster today, but a lot more documentation seems to be required these days.

     

    Also, I barely remember my EBOR, so it must not have been nearly as daunting as the ones I read about today. I was under the impression that it was conducted by the Troop, and not the District or Council, but I could be mistaken. There might have been District representatives, but IIRC, it was mostly members of the Troop committee.

     

    So some things have changed, but as far as I can tell, the Eagle requirements have not been "dumbed down". If anything, they are slightly more difficult. The MB requirements are about the same level of difficulty. The Eagle project today is somewhat more difficult. And as far as I remember, there were no specific "POR" requirements back in my day.

     

    Can "helicopter parents" make it easier for a Scout to make Eagle? I suppose they probably do. But there is nothing about today's requirements that make "helicopter parents" more or less likely. I don't really remember any back in my day (although different parents had different levels of "nudging" that they would give thier son). If they exist in large numbers today, it's not because of the requirements.

     

    If an "Eagle Mill" makes its Eagles soar by having a good program, and maybe nudging Johnny to call Mr. ___ to set up an appointment to get started on ____ merit badge, then it sounds like a pretty good program to me. If it has "classes" once a week in order to get kids "signed off" on merit badges, then it probably isn't.

     

    But my hunch is that the troop with the good program, and occasional nudges, probably cranks out more Eagles in the end, anyway. So I'm not going to discount a troop just because it brags about its Eagles on the side of its trailer.

     

    Unless I see evidence to the contrary, I assume that each one of those names earned it just as much, and probably more so, than I did.

  3. I became a Cub Scout in 1969, and it's surprising to me how many supposedly revered traditions did not exist in 1969.

     

    I must have gone through three Blue and Gold Banquets, but I really don't have much recollection of them. I have only one vague recolection of being in the Legion hall where it took place, but this might be a composite memory of all three of them. I have no idea what food was served. I had never heard of a "crossing over" ceremony until recently (although I have been informed that they did exist in at least some packs back then). No elaborate arrows were awarded to anyone. I have a slight recollection of making a clunky blue car that placed close to last place in the Pinewood Derby. (If the track had been computerized, I'm sure I would have made first place.)

     

    I do remember generally having fun.

     

    But the main thing I remember from Cub Scouts is balancing yard sticks on the tip of our fingers, which we did in our Bear den. I still remember that the champion yard stick balancer was Alejandro, an exchange student from Mexico. I assume that this is because he was able to practice back home with meter sticks, and the yard stick was so much simpler by comparison. (It also might have had something to do with the fact that he was a couple of years older than the Cub Scouts in our den.)

     

    The second thing I remember from Cub Scouts was being at a Pack meeting of my brother's pack before I joined. As part of the Christmas party, a magician pulled a candy cane out of my ear. As my wife points out, this probably explains many things, since there is presumably a candy cane shaped void inside my head.

     

    Since my return to Scouting, I have yet to see any den have a yardstick balancing competition. I have yet to see a magician pull a candy cane out of a little brother's ear.

     

    I can only assume that this is because you yungin's don't have any respect for the traditions that made Scouting great. :)

  4. As far as I know, I'm the only Lion parent here. My son was a Lion last year, as our council is one of those participating in this pilot program. I was under the impression that we were the first one, but I could be mistaken.

     

    I'm not aware of any particular ceremonies, and I doubt if there are any, since it is a fairly new program, and our Pack was mostly "winging it".

     

    I do applaud you for recognizing and including the Lions. Since there's no Lion "rank" badge, I suppose it could seem like they were excluded if most of the other dens advance in rank at the B&G, and they don't.

     

    In the Pack we were in, different kids advanced at different times, so this wasn't as big of an issue. What you might want to do is find some temporary patch at the Scout shop (or find some old leftover ones) and award them to the Lions, in about the same way that you award the rank badges to the other dens.

     

    As I mentioned, our Pack was generally "winging it", but it actually worked out pretty well. For den meetings, I think they always just threw together some last-minute activity (often, from the Tiger electives), so they were kind of so-so. But what my son got the most out of was being able to participate in many Pack activities, including the Pinewood Derby. And even when he wasn't able to participate, he still got a lot out of hanging around with the older Cub Scouts and seeing the cool stuff they were doing.

     

    Also, my son did earn a couple of belt loops as a Lion. That will help get them hooked for next year, since they'll have to buy an official Cub Scout belt to put them on. :-)

     

     

  5. I think some people are getting confused from the use of the word "agent".

     

    Maybe this will make things even more confusing, but to me, the relationship makes a lot more sense if you use the words "unpaid employee" instead of "agent". (And no, you're not really an employee, and there's no such thing as an "unpaid employee". But it just seems to me that the relationship makes more sense that way.)(And yes, when I say "unpaid employee", I really mean "agent". But it just seems to make more sense if we avoid that word.)

     

    So you're an "unpaid employee" of the CO, and you owe them a certain degree of loyalty as a result of that. IMHO, that loyalty does not necessarily include funneling kids into the CO's troop. If they "hired" you to run the Cub Scout program, then you, as a loyal (unpaid) employee are obligated to do that job to the best of your ability. And if you believe, in good faith, that the competing troop down the street is better than the one that the CO runs, then they "hired" you to pass that tidbit of information on to the Cub Scouts. After all, your job description says "lead the Cub Scouts", and part of the job of leading Cub Scouts is giving them advice on how and where to continue their scouting career.

     

    If the head of the CO says to you, "Mr. Cub Scout leader, I hereby order you to funnel kids into our troop, and stop talking up the one down the street", then you are obligated to follow that advice, or get fired, in which case you will forfeit your entire salary.

     

    But if they don't say that, then IMHO, there's no particular duty to do so. Again, they hired you to run a good Cub Scout program, not to promote the other activities of the CO.(This message has been edited by clemlaw)

  6. Well, unless things have changed since I was a youth in the 1970's, I don't see why not.

     

    I was tapped out (now known as "called out") the second year I was eligible. I wasn't ready the first year, but apparently the other scouts in my troop knew that, and they didn't elect me. The next year, I was ready, and they voted me in.

     

    >>>>(y'all know what part I am talking about).

  7. I doubt if the issue is going to come up very much, since there are probably very few 6th grade graduates who are still 11 in July, and of course an even smaller number of them will be signing up practically the day the join Scouts.

     

    But I don't really see the issue. I went to the 1973 Jamboree as a 12 year old sixth grade graduate. I believe that I wouldn't have been old enough if I had been that age for other Jamborees, but that was the one year that regular troops went to the Jamboree, and I believe they lowered the age requirement for that reason. It was our summer camp that year, and it was my second summer camp as a Boy Scout.

     

    Frankly, if anything, the Jamboree was less demanding for a young scout than regular summer camp. We were in tents, but I wouldn't really call the experience "camping". It was really more like going to a fair and sleeping there overnight. We cooked on charcoal rather than a wood fire, and I remember that luxury seemed practically decadent for someone who was supposed to be "camping". :) I don't recall anything particularly strenuous or anything that required any particular skill. I suppose a few young scouts probably get lost in the big crowd, but that's probably less traumatic than getting lost in the wilderness. With thousands of scouts around, there really wasn't any wilderness to get lost in.

     

    I suppose it would be somewhat different with a provisional troop. But still, presumably the provisional troop has gone on a few "shakedown" trips together, so it's probably not too different.

     

    IMHO, a sixth grader would do just fine, even if he's a little bit younger than most of his classmates.

  8. I think that's a great idea, and it highlights one of my pet peeves with the BSA (which it looks like they're in the process of correcting).

     

    Like many old scouts, I drifted away from Scouting during college, and was never invited back. Almost thirty years went by, and nobody ever called me--not even to ask for money!

     

    There were times during that thirty years when I was too busy to help out, or too broke to donate any money. But for most of that time, I would have helped out and/or donated, if someone had simply called me and asked me to do so.

     

    Yes, I should have come forward myself. But I didn't, and a little nudge would have resulted in a volunteer or donor. As is often the case, I came back when I had a son in Cub Scouts. And coincidentally, they finally did call me shortly after that, as part of putting together the NESA directory and database.

     

    Now, I'm not sure if the B&G is the correct event to invite old Eagles back. But it's a starting point.

     

    One thing to keep in mind is that when someone receives the invitation, there will be two things going through their mind. They will assume that you are inviting them so that you can either ask for money, or ask them to volunteer. Now, I suspect that many of them will be willing to volunteer and/or donate money. But if it's just an invitation to come to the banquet, this will make them suspicious. They might be reluctant, because they don't know how you want them to volunteer, or how much money you are going to hit them up for.

     

    So in your invitation, I would be up front about this possibility. From their point of view, forewarned is forearmed. If you don't say anything, then they might be afraid that they'll get ambushed at the dinner, and wind up being introduced as the new Cubmaster, or asked to donate thousands of dollars. That possibility might scare them away.

     

    I would say something like, "we would like to recognize some of the Eagle Scouts who live in the area, so that the Cub Scouts can see the kind of people that Scouts become. If you would like to, we will give you an opportunity to briefly introduce yourself. We are not doing this to recruit volunteers, and we will not be soliciting any contributions. However, if you want to re-connect with Scouting, please give me a call, since we have many volunteer opportunities in our Pack, some of which require only a minimal time commitment. And if you would like to re-connect with Scouting as a volunteer in the Boy Scout or Venturing program, I would be happy to put you in touch with someone in the district who might know of volunteer opportunities."

     

    That way, you confirm thier suspicions that they'll be asked at some point to volunteer their time or their money. But you're upfront about it, and you also make clear that you would like to see them even if they can't volunteer at this time.

     

    Incidentally, it's pretty easy to search for them on the NESA website. It takes a little bit of work, but it's not too difficult. You can do a "global search", and simply search for nearby zip codes. However, you need to include the wild card character (I forget if it is * or !)at the end of the zip code, because many of the listings have 9-digit zip codes. So if you want people in zip code 12345, you need to search for 12345*, which will pick it up even if it's in a 9-digit format.

     

    You need to then manually go through the list of results and click on all of them. You'll get a few false hits (e.g., someone with a phone number that starts with those five digits), but the majority of them will be people with addresses in that zip code.

     

    In the 30 years that I was absent from Scouting, I'm not sure if I would have accepted such an invitation every time. But especially if it came once a year, I probably would have eventually. At the very least, I eventually would have called and said that I would be interested in being a Merit Badge Counselor or something.

     

    Also, if you get the NESA magazine, check out the last issue, which had an article about a council in Chicago that is re-connecting with Eagles. They seem to have a lot of good ideas.

  9. I'm not normally a big fan of "canned" meeting plans, but in a crisis like this, they seem like a perfect idea:

     

    http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/CubScouts/Leaders/DenLeaderResources/DenandPackMeetingResourceGuide/TigerDenPlans.aspx

     

    If you browse through the Tiger book, you should be able to find an uncompleted requirement or elective. Chances are, there will be part of a meeting plan at the link above that covers that requirement. You can either follow the meeting plan, or use it as a starting point.

     

    You might also want to browse through the list of belt loops and see if there's one that can be done at a meeting with little preparation. At our last meeting, we had one of our parents from a foreign country talk for a few minutes, lead a game, and teach a few words in a foreign language, and everyone earned the Language and Culture belt loop. That one would probably take some preparation, but there are probably others where you can just wing it.

     

    And even if you can't arrange a police station visit on short notice, they might be able to send over a squad car for a few minutes, turn on the lights and siren, etc. IMHO, that would satisfy the requirement.

     

    I suspect that if you just take some ideas and wing it, you'll wind up with a meeting that's more fun than if you had planned it in great detail. :)

  10. I really don't consider myself an expert outdoorsman, but I know a large number of skills that I always assumed were common knowledge. But it turns out that they're not common knowledge, and I occasionally amaze people by doing something simple.

     

    For example, the reason why bunge cords are so popular is because there are a large number of people who have absolutely no clue about how to use a piece of rope. Since the rope doesn't come with an instruction book, they don't know what to do with it. Or perhaps some of them, because of lack of experience, mistakenly believe that the bunge cord is "better" or "easier".

     

    At first, I thought they were joking, but there are also large numbers of people who believe that it is impossible to make coffee or toast without the use of electricity. I encountered so many of these people on another website (about pop-up trailers), that I wrote the following website, so I wouldn't have to keep answering the same questions over and over:

     

    http://www.w0is.com/outdoor/Coffee.html

     

    As you can see, this is partly tongue in cheek. But lo and behold, it gets several hits a day, and more often than not, people find it as a result of a web search for something like "how to make coffee if the power is out". I assume that they fire up the generator so that they can use the computer. (And yes, if someone clicks on one of the Amazon links and buys something, I get a small commission, so every once in a while, one of them buys a coffee pot and I get a couple of bucks.) Occasionally, I'll get a comment from someone who is absolutely amazed by some observations, such as that it's possible to light the gas stove at home using a match. It had simply never occurred to them. Again, I had assumed that it was common knowledge, but I suppose if you never lit a stove using a match, you might not realize that it's possible.

     

    So yes, we old scouts with these arcane skills are probably a lot less helpless than the general public.

  11. Yes, Abuelita is probably the best. And even though I don't think the instructions say this, it will, of course, be richer if you use milk instead of H2O.

     

    We also order various food from Honeyville Grain, and their Mexican Hot Chocolate mix is as good, or better, than Abuelita. They also have various other flavors. As far as instant hot chocolate mix, it's the best. I have links to some of the flavors on this page. I don't have a link to the Mexican style, but if you click on the sampler, you should be able to find it:

     

    http://www.w0is.com/miscpages/FoodStorageStaples.html

     

    When I was in Scouts, someone brought along some army surplus food (possibly dating back to WW2, or at least Korea), which included "Hershey's Tropical" candy bars. As the name suggests, these were such that they would not melt in tropical conditions. They were basically the consistency of wood, and had a slightly waxy taste to them. I loved them, but most of the other scouts didn't. So everyone pooled theirs and put them into hot chocolate, which I have to admit was pretty good (once they finally melted, which they eventually did upon the application of enough heat).

     

    The downside, of course, was that the other Scouts found a use for their Hershey's Tropical bars, which meant that they stopped giving them to me.

     

    If you're looking for Abuelita, it's probably in the Mexican aisle of the supermarket, and not with the other hot chocolate. And while you're there, be sure to check out the Nestle Nido, which is powdered milk. Before you gag from the words "powdered milk", please hear me out. This stuff, when properly reconstituted, actually tastes like milk. Really. Scout's Honor. The difference is that it is not dehydrated skim milk--it is dehydrated whole milk. For that reason, it is more expensive (more than the milk it's replacing), and has a relatively short shelf life (6 months or so, unopened). But it would be an excellent choice for camping or backpacking.

  12. I'm sorry to have to put a damper on things, but you're going to have a heckuva time trying to find Enip Doow Derby patches at the Scout Shop.

     

    You'll probably have to give some thought to the rules, since it's likely that the Scouts will think of things that you hadn't thought of. For example, an electric motor won't have much difficulty travelling the full length of the track, so you're probably going to have a multi-way tie for "furthest".

  13. Anyone who has little kids around the house has probably watched "The Incredibles" about a hundred times. And whenever the subject of Arrow Of Light ceremonies comes up, I always think of the following dialog from the movie:

     

    Helen: I can't believe you don't want to go to your own son's graduation.

    Bob: It's not a graduation. He is moving from the 4th grade to the 5th grade.

    Helen: It's a ceremony!

    Bob: It's psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional...

     

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317705/quotes

     

    :)

  14. And for parents who don't yet have the book, it's on page 13-17 of this link:

     

    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/ypt/pdf/46-014.pdf

     

    When I went looking for this online previously, I only found it as part of a much larger document, but this one is only about 20 pages long. Even if the parents don't have internet access (if there's such a thing these days), it wouldn't be too difficult to print this out and give it to them.

     

    And, as noted above, it looks much less daunting if you also print out the Cub Scout Promise and the Law of the Pack, and then ask them to go over all three of them at home.

     

    You're actually assigning them more work, but it looks less overwhelming, since you're assigning two easy things and one hard thing. Psychologically, that doesn't seem as daunting as one hard thing.

  15. I also agree that making cracks about who pays for the choir robes probably isn't going to be particularly productive.

     

    Apparently, as others have pointed out, the charter agreement states that the CO provides a meeting place. The original post states that the unit was asked whether it would "consider paying" a certain amount for utilities. I doubt if the charter agreement _prohibits_ the unit from making such a payment. Also, the church is under no obligation to sign the charter agreement next year. And if signing it is a financial burden for them, then it's not realistic to expect them to continue as a CO.

     

    Frankly, $50 per month doesn't seem unreasonable. If dens and the pack are holding meetings there, then you're probably using the building about five times per month (more if different dens meet on differnt nights). During that time, lights are used, water is used, and if this church is like most churches, the thermostat is adjusted to a comfortable level when the building is occupied. You're probably using paper towels and soap in the bathroom, and a bunch of other little things like that. There's probably extra work for the janitor (whether it's a paid position or a volunteer), and the janitor might even need to work extra hours to lock up the building those nights. Maybe $10 per meeting is more than what the actual cost is, but that figure doesn't sound too unreasonable to me. (It's certainly more than that if you figured in a portion of the mortgage, building upkeep, and other fixed expenses, but it doesn't sound like they're even asking for that.)

     

    And other factors are probably at work. How many members of the Pack are members of the church? Frankly, especially if most of the pack membership are non-members of the church, many of the comments above reflect a sense of entitlement that isn't really in keeping with "a Scout is Courteous".

     

    Perhaps the pack can't afford the $50 a month. Or maybe $50 isn't a reasonable amount in this particular case. But if that's the case, then the leadership ought to say so to the church leadership, and see what can be worked out.

     

    But what I'm seeing in many replies is a line in the sand, that it's the church's obligation to do this free of charge, and by God, we're going to make sure they continue to do it free of charge. IMHO, that reflects a sense of entitlement that isn't healthy, and certainly not in keeping with the Scout Oath and Law.(This message has been edited by clemlaw)

  16. Folks,

     

    The original poster is apparently a parent, and it sounds like the Pack and/or Troop her son is in doesn't run everything exactly the way we would, and probably doesn't run everything exactly by the book.

     

    But if that's the case, it's certainly not the original poster's fault, and from the tone of the responses, it sure sounds like we're jumping all over her.

     

    As for the original poster, the Council office needs to enter all of the advancement into their computer, and that record should include the Scout's date of birth. So chances are, if it went through properly, the Scout is the right age, even though, at first blush, it looks like something weird is going on.

     

    As noted above, your son is not eligible for Tenderfoot for a minimum of 30 days after receiving his Arrow of Light. So your best course of action is to take a look at his handbook, and see how many of the Tenderfoot requirements are signed off. If he needs a little nudge to work on one or two of them, that's your main job. But in Boy Scouts, your main job is to give little nudges, which is different from the role you had in Cub Scouts or Webelos. With a few possible rare exceptions, you generally won't be the one "signing off" on requirements.

  17. Well, I can only speak of my experience with the best Patrol Leader in the history of the BSA, who happened to be my Patrol Leader when I joined.

     

    I joined an existing patrol at the end of 5th Grade, but it was essentially the "new scout patrol" (although nobody told us that it was). Most of the members were in 6th grade, and had probably all joined Scouts early in that school year. The Patrol Leader was in 7th grade, and as far as I knew, he was an expert woodsman. In retrospect, he was probably just a Scout who had a pretty solid understanding of most of the skills required for First Class, which he had acquired by going camping a lot.

     

    I figured he was the smartest kid in the world, but it turns out he was just a C student.

     

    But he was excited about being the leader of a bunch of Tenderfoots that were younger than him. And in the process, he turned out to be the best Patrol Leader in the history of the BSA.

     

    So my suggestion is to find a First Class or Star scout who is gung ho about Scouting, and ask him if he's interested in leading a bunch of newbies. Then, have the adult leaders, and the Life and Eagle Scouts stand back in the woodwork and be prepared to give him a hand on those rare occasions when he needs it.

     

    If you have another gung ho Second Class or First Class Scout, you can put him in the position to become the APL. Or, you can let one of those newbies get himself elected APL in a few months.

  18. First of all, congratulations!

     

    We didn't have that tradition back when I became Eagle about a hundred years ago (OK, a Scout is Trustworthy, and 1978 isn't quite a hundred years ago) but it sounds like a nice tradition.

     

    I would suggest that you think of something that will remind them of the project in some way. For example, if the project involved digging, then maybe give them small shovels (or pens that look like shovels). If it involved cutting logs, then a small axe (or some novelty item that looks like an axe). Obviously, the value would depend on how many volunteers. If you had a hundred volunteers, then the gift will be a smaller value than if you had five volunteers.

     

    Also, if the project benefitted some particular organization, then maybe a gift with that organization's logo or symbol (maybe along with the BSA symbol) would be appropriate. For example, if it benefitted a state park, then you might want to go shopping at that state park's gift shop, and they probably have items with the name of the park.(This message has been edited by clemlaw)

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