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Cubmaster Mike

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About Cubmaster Mike

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  1. Looking for some opinions. I'm seeing a large increase in collection drives as Eagle projects in our troop. Coat drives for the homeless, school supply drives for other countries, baby supplies for crisis nurseries, etc. I know these groups all need support and their causes are certainly worthy. What concerns me is the collection drive effort compared to other scouts who build fences, bird boxes, replace park benches, clear out creek beds, etc. Most of the scouts who do these drives are handed a list of supplies needed, information flyer formats, and other specifics from the beneficiary who are ready and waiting for these Eagle candidates. The scout contacts the agency, they hand over the list of what they need, and the scout gets what the paper states. They print out the list, send their fellow scouts out to the neighborhoods, sit back and wait for the supplies to return, then gather up the coats, diapers, pencils and erasers, etc. and turn them over to the waiting agency. Compared to a physical construction project or landscape cleanup, It's a much different leadership experience to send scouts out to a neighborhood to pick stuff up. It doesn't require a lot of focused brainpower to lead scouts who are not in front of you because we've all done this for years through Scouting for Food, newspaper drives, or other door to door collections. The scouts do it on autopilot- here's your streets, knock on the door, take what they give you, go to the next house, repeat. What do you do in your units to have these Eagle candidates show leadership on these type of project proposals? When these proposals come in, I'm telling the candidates to "own it"- write it up like they are creating a drive from scratch rather than just filling a shopping list from a beneficiary, and also to write contingency plans- what do they do if something happens on the drive, what are they doing while the drive is ongoing, do they have a base of operations, etc. Brownie troops and Cub Scout dens can do the very same drive the following week and show the same level of leadership. What are you doing in your units to make these projects eagle worthy? CMM/SMM
  2. Brought back JASMs for scouts who served as SPL and were within a year of aging out. Wanted to keep that knowledge and experience in the meetings and outings, Question- how do others make use of JASMs. Looking for some input on how to keep this valuable resource. Also- we have a monthly PLC for the boys, and a monthly Uniformed Leader meeting for the SM and ASM adults (separate meetings). Looking for opinions on which meeting JASMs should attend.
  3. The (awful) nylon/spandex/velco venture pants have gone on sale at my local scout store. Word is they are being replaced with a new pant style. Anyone hear anything more on this? CMM
  4. Okay, so maybe it's my issue and not theirs. Looking for some opinions and/or advice. I am the advisor for a Philmont trek that is heading out in June. The boys were asked to select a trek leader last week. We set a goal for each scout to hike 100 miles since last August and each scout signed a contract to participate and be active. The opportunities have been there. One boy in the trek has hiked 139 miles. Four of the eight nominated a boy who has the lowest participation and lowest miles hiked in the group- 18 miles total and only three outings in the last year and the lowest meeting attendance (we typically have 2-3 activities in a month plus three troop meetings). At the last troop meeting I noticed that this scout did not participate wit the rest of the troop in the activities but instead spent the time talking with the former senior patrol leader who showed up late. I was going to speak with him about participation after the formal troop meeting when we had our trek meeting, but he ducked out early and did not attend the trek meeting. Not every scout will achieve the 100 miles- but all except this one scout will be over 85 miles. Dad is also one of the trek adults and has similar attendance. Both dad and son are in great shape physically (boy is on the high school track team and dad usually goes for a run when he drops the boy off at the troop meetings- good example) but we set this mileage goal with a dual purpose- to get in shape and to spend time as a trek crew. I asked one of the other scouts who voted for this boy why he chose as he did (overall, not singling out any one person) and he shrugged and said they wanted those positons and he didn't. Personally I am not feeling a great level of comfort with just going with the top vote getter. I'm looking at options. Here is what I have considered. 1. Ignore my feelings, its their choice and work with the boy leader as the advisor. 2. Pull the boy and his father aside, tell him that he was selected as the trek leader but has not shown a great deal of leadership over the past year. The expectations and responsibilities will be much higher at Philmont so start preparing now. 3. Re-vote (no one scout had a majority). Urge the scouts to select someone who has they feel they could follow, consider the outings they have had, and pick someone who has been active. 4. Re-vote and limit the pool of candidates to those who have achieved the 100 miles- or have the boys select the minimum miles and participation and let that determine the pool of candidates. Here's another point that's grinding on me. When we announced the trek last year and opened it up to signups we had a scout who is one of our oldest and wanted to go since this will be his last chance before he turns 18. He is older than any of our current scouts on the trek and is an Eagle Scout. He admitted up front that he was very involved in wrestling, lacrosse, and water polo, so he would not be able to attend the hikes and campouts but would get in shape on his own. We told him that this was about team building and he should look at his list of activities and decide what he wants to do. He did and decided to not to go to Philmont since he was going to be on the varsity team in his selected sports and wanted have good attendance on the weekend games. Even with his varsity team commitments his attendance at troop meetings is nearly perfect. The boy in question for trek leader joined the cross country and track team after this decision and has been unable to attend outings because of sports conflicts. "Runner dad" is also aware of the Eagle scout's decision to drop because of too many commitments. I don't think he sees the similarity in their situations. Comments? Other suggestions?
  5. I was looking for a related topic in the net and this came up in my search. Correction: There is no Range Safety Officer requirement for Archery or BB guns. Both fall under the Section 5 exemption in the National Shooting Sports manual. The instructor runs the BB gun range, not a safety officer. But- my suggestion is to always be two deep on the range. You can have an NRA RSO as your assistant, but unless they also hold a BB gun range master training card, they can't run the range. CMM
  6. I noticed today that my local Scout shop just put the jac shirts (red and green) on sale at 30% off. I've learned the past this is the first step in phasing out uniforms that are being discontinued. Anyone hear any rumors? CMM
  7. woodard- I have a gear list with suggestions for new parents joining our troop. Send me your email and I will forward you a copy. CMM
  8. Our unit will hold our March Pack meeting on St Pattys day this year. Some parents look at us like we're crazy, but if the meeting is over at 7:30, they can still run out and get their green beer. Or take their kids home and boil a corned beef, which is probably more likely. I should also mention that pack meetings started occurring for the first time in 6 years back in January, so they are still getting used to the idea (Pack reformed this spring after a monster recruitment took it from 18 boys in two lone dens to a full pack of 60) So to those out there in the wisdom pool, I'm looking for some simple ideas to spice up a st patty day pack meeting. We meet at a catholic church, should be simple but enticing. Meetings run from 6:15 to 7:30. CMM
  9. Saw one yesterday in our local scout store. It's nice, similar to the styling of the red one but with the insignia embroidered in black instead of teh sew on patch. Also has elbow patches but in an odd oval shape. Tried one on, not a bad fit. Color reminds me of split pea soup. CMM
  10. Hi there. Youth can assist in the safety area on the range. They can explain safety rules and they can work with them on merit badge or belt loop requirements. They cannot run the range or direct the firing line. Only trained range officers 18 or older can run the Archery firing line. Mike Warriner BSA Shooting Sports Director USA Archery Instructor NRA Rifle/Shotgun/Black Powder Instructor
  11. My son came back from NYLT as a participant a couple of weeks back. He had a great time and wants to be on staff. Families were invited to come up for the last evening for a banquet and the graduation ceremony. The boys on staff and many of the participants got up on stage during the banquet at the camp lodge and sang, chanted and danced loudly for the camp parents. I really enjoyed it. Before NYLT I discussed participation with my son and another scout who I drove up to camp. I explained the rah-rah aspect and since my son is not a rah-rah type, I encouraged them both to let loose and sing, chant and dance as much as possible during camp. It makes camp fun. He took it to heart and had a great time. Another boy in his patrol did not want to sing and chant and well, his experience was not so good. Unfortunately it sopunds like he also brought down some of the patrol spirit. Discussed that with my son. Yes, there are those who are self conscious and wont get into it as much. Its that way in our home troop. Told him to remember how much fun he had at NYLT and bring bck as much of it that he can. He can make it fun if he wants to put in the effort- you know, the leadership thing. Lectures? yes he said they are there. Some long, some short, some he enjoyed some he did not. From his description that was as much a function of the presenter as well as the presentation. CMM
  12. This is great news! Putting the discussion in this string aside, I cheer the 12 men and women who stood up and said that what the City of Philadelphia was trying to do was wrong. We won today. Another battle will take its place tomorrow. I'm sending a note of support to C of L congratulating them for standing strong. Anyone else? CMM
  13. Wow. What a story. Guys like this have no business wearing a uniform. My response is much simpler. I don't care if their parent is present or not. I don't wait for the parent to notice their child, if I see a Scout behaving inappropriately I call it out. Yes, it takes guts. But after the first time, it gets a lot easier. parents misbehaving? I treat that one a lot more tenderly. I call the parent aside, and in the view of other parents (similar to youth protection setups) tell them that their actions are inappropriate for the outing and to politely get with the program. If they cannot, I ask them to leave. Truly, I had this conversation as a Tiger Leader with our Committee Chair years ago. No one else would do it, but it had to be said. CC quit the following day. Yes, it took a little time getting someone else to stand up but the Pack was much better for it. Difficult decision, ugly circumstance but the Pack was stronger for it. Could I have left? Yes. But that was my school, my sons friends and things needed to change. I decided that as uncomfortable as it was, I wanted him in that pack so I would need to be the "point of change." KJ- you had the strength to call it out here in this forum, and you do have the strength to do it in a meeting or campsite. Go for it. CMM CMM(This message has been edited by Cubmaster Mike)
  14. Gotta agree with John in KC. In units that have declined in our Council, it's not because of boy interest, but because of lack of adults willing to deliver a quality program. Cub Scouts is Adult-run and Boy Scouts is Boy-led but both require active adults willing to put forth a quality program. Many parents like Scouting, but feel that they "don't have enough time." To be blunt, the majority of those parents have looked in the mirror and are not willing to step up to the level of involvement that scouting requires. Its easy to commit to a season of dropping your kid off at baseball and soccer practice and then run off on errands or sit on the sidelines and socialize with a latte. i call this "effortless commitment." As your kid's soccer and baseball coach on the field I have seen it. And from the coaching perspective, I know that it's a much easier job than scouting. You teach the skill, you coach the game, you have the parent always available to take responsibility. An hour practice, a two hour game, easy commitment, no true responsibility. It takes a special individual to agree to lead a set of boys (and girls- I do girl scouts too)out into the woods and know that he/she is the responsbile adult 24-7 until that child is home with their parents. It takes a commitment to lead and a willingness to step up in emergencies. We call these unique individuals Scouters. Recruit them, train them and numbers go up. CMM (This message has been edited by Cubmaster Mike)(This message has been edited by Cubmaster Mike)
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