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Everything posted by CyndiA

  1. Oh, I finally figured out what CC means. The CC is the SMs father.
  2. I would like for my boys to be in a Scout troop and to be a part of OA and with some sense of pride and some reason to feel respect for those involved. Something like this would certainly not be out of the blue. By this point, a lot of other things have happened that leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth. I was not in OA. I don't know much about the process. I'm not impressed from what I've seen so far. I don't know why I would want to sink time and effort into driving back and forth and pitching in as needed and asked. If it was something worthwhile, then I'd be glad to do whatever I could. With this introduction, I certainly have to question why I would want to be involved (on the sidelines). If the moderator could or would dump this thread, that would probably be best. As a parent, it's none of my business. If the boys want to participate, then I'll drive. Otherwise, I suppose the program can continue on as the leaders see fit.
  3. This also makes me wonder why OA is conducted in a cloak of silence. It certainly seems that such matters should be out in the open if this is how things are done.
  4. I do have confirmation. Another SM was at the Round Table where the SM from this troop said that the election was not fair and that it was a popularity contest. She insisted that her child be called out. He was. No. I wasn't there. Yes. I trust the SM that told me when I asked straight up. Do you think the SM or the OA person who agreed to this should be the one or ones to talk to the boys about prodedures in a secret ballot election?
  5. Let me clarify on the mothers here. The SM mother is the one who reportedly "pitched a fit" and had her son tapped for OA. The second mother does not have sons qualified for OA at this time. She heard "somewhere" that the child in question was getting tapped for OA though he did not get the votes. Since I heard the boys talking, there is no doubt in my mind that he did not get the votes. The boys who voted told the boy in question that they did not vote for him. He does not pull his share on camping trips. He can't even tie basic knots. He takes off and leaves the others with camp chores. The boys voted as charged to vote using the criteria recommended. I thought it was not to be discussed, but it was. So, they all know that the vote was disregarded. How the word got out to another troop, I have no idea. The only place this was discussed that I know of (other than when the boys spoke together at the meeting with no adults around) was here at home. I haven't menioned this or brought it up. In fact, it never crossed my mind that there was any question about the child getting tapped at this time when he is clearly not up to speed with skills. So, it was news to me when I heard that might be the case. In fact, that WAS the case. So, while it may be seen as a rumor, the information was correct. The boy was tapped to OA without the votes.
  6. Thanks Semper! I like the way you put that. The only thing that I'm thinking is that I also need to kind of temper that with something softer for the kid involved. No. He did not earn his way in. But, he did not pitch the fit. He did not insist on being in OA. His mother did that. He will be a part of this group and with (probably) everyone knowing how he got in. The other boys were not keen on him to start with (hence the no vote), but it's really not his fault that his mom forced the issue. The kid is only 12 years old. Hopefully he will make changes and will be a valuable member of OA. But, it's going to be hard if the other boys don't give him a chance. I feel that I should make it clear that what the mother did was wrong but that the kid deserves a chance to prove that he can be a real member and earn his way after the fact. The kids are not back from the trip but will be in soon. Still thinking here. Tks much for your thoughts.
  7. Tonight was the OA induction here. One boy was tapped who was not voted in. He recieved 2 (one being his own vote) of 6 or 7 votes at the troop meeting. Yes. The boys did compare notes/votes (though I don't know if they are supposed to do that). A mother from another troop had already mentioned that the "talk" was that the mother of the child pitched a fit and insisted that her son be inducted. When the names were called, this boy was called first and led the line. I am 100 % certain that he did not get the votes to be inducted. There were some very good reasons for the way the voting went which was clearly articulated by the boys. Then, the vote was disregarded. No. This is not a rant. My concern revolves around what to tell my boys. I want them to feel good about getting inducted and to value the honor of being voted in. I certainly can't and won't suggest that the other boy may have recieved more votes than thought, because that just won't fly. The boys in the troop know better than that. I hate to just say: Life isn't always fair. It's going to be hard to explain that the rules were broken but that does not reflect on the program or on them personally. I can't imagine that a program would have rules and that those rules would be tossed out the window like that. It does make me wonder if being inducted means anything. I don't want my own concerns to overshadow this moment of honor for those who did get voted in. Both my boys have worked very hard and have earned the respect of fellow scouts. They did get the required votes.I want them to feel good about being in OA. But, I am certain that they will being feeling some of the same things I'm feeling.
  8. Our troop was at the same spot last year. As a parent, I stayed out of the way though sent things asked for and provided transportation and such. A couple of parents asked that I become more active due to some concerns. For example, the boys had not made rank. That was the tip of the iceburg. Initially, I sat in on a couple of meetings. "Boy led troop" consisted of the SM unlocking the door and telling them they were boy led and asking what they planned to do. The meetings consisted mostly of running around outside and rolling on the ground or playing with a tinkertoy type set owned not by the Scouts but by the church. When they had a camp out coming up, they were told to come up with meals. The boys were quite baffled, so I found recipes, grouped them and put them in a three ring binder. I provided the notebook to the group. As I was sitting and watching at a meeting (I began attending as requested by some parents), the boys began to write out a grocery list. When I heard them adding hamburger to chicken and dumplings on the list, I finally decided to be more active. I dropped over to the table to see what was going on. The boys thought everything on a single page was required for a dish listed at the top. I explained how recipes were divided and that there were three recipes on the page. Clearly, very young boys in a new troop can't lead if they don't know how. This is one year later. Some of the things I did were: I offered to type up calendars. I pointed out things needed for advancement and let the boys decide when to do those things. For example, the 30 day fitness for TF had not been done by any. They set up a pre test and then the 30 day follow up. That was typed in so that a timer and such could be arranged. The boys also discussed various merit badges of interest. Some of these were put on the calendar. Programs were to get boys started and not to churn out merit badge completions. Indian Lore games were set up. The boys found and taught games. We also arranged an outing to a burial mound. Then, boys who wanted that merit badge could work on it with a counselor. I also checked around for community service projects. The boys told me what kinds of things they wanted to help with. I did the research. Now, they have some projects to select from. For example, the dog pound needs boys on Saturdays to wash puppies. They can go three at a time or less. They don't know about these things. Heck, I didn't either until I called around. Now, they can set up community service as they want. After getting some basics in place--some meeting ideas, community service possibilities and a book with recipes, I began to work one on one. Senior Patrol Leader can't set up a meeting if he has no clue where to start. I found some templates. I would sit down with SPL or any Scout wanting to coordinate a ceremony or campfire program. I would show them how others had done these and explained how to customize to meet the needs of the groups. For example, they did not have advancement to all ranks. So, it was important to pull out those not needed and focus on those they had made. I showed them where they could add things like candles or a skit and such. They just needed a blueprint and an idea about options. Some of the meetings got pretty out of hand with nothing much accomplished. To help with this, I set up a college professor to come and go over parliamentary procedure. That helped dramatically. The boys picked it up fast. Now they know how to refocus and to call a vote with discussion. This means that adults seldom ever have to refocus. The boys do it now that they have a tool to use to stay on track. The last meeting was an intro for new boys moving up from Cubs. The troop wanted to have a station set up. I sat down with the SPL and explained how to brainstorm with all boys. I showed him how to lay out a map sort of thing with the tables and to divide the load. Then the boys discussed what they wanted to cover. They came up with camping, cooking, nature, and first aid. Two boys took each area. They decided what to teach and how to teach. The SPL opened the meeting and sent the new kids to various stations where the Scouts did everything. The adults were totally in the background as would be hoped. This came about only after a year with some pretty intense one on one and with tools provided for success. At this point, the older Scouts do have the tools and experience. They will be teaching the new Scouts how to take care of the various things needed to be successful in Scouting. But, they can only pass down what they know and what they learn. Boy led can only work if the boys have some help with the basics. They will, of course, make mistakes and find that some things that look good on paper do not work that well. That's fine. But, they need something to start with. A few templates and some training is essential. Then, they are very creative and add a lot on their own. At this point, I still type the calendar (and I'm waiting for some to get old enough to have better typing skills than current). I continue to check on community service projects and toss out new ideas when I hear of them. If something new comes up, I find some examples to share. If a boy needs some extra help, I sit down one on one and explain things like how to put together a demonstration with visuals. I continue to send supplies and drive as needed as I did from the start. After one year, the boys still need some help from time to time but not a lot. When they pull out the three ring cookbook, they understand how to use recipes now. They understand that they can't really make 2 Dutch Oven dishes when they have only one Dutch Oven at this time. Best of all, they are teaching the incoming Scouts. They have examples to pass on and tips to share. That was what they needed in the beginning, because none of them had done the things before. And, with a new troop with younger boys, they don't have anyone to ask except the adults initially. Good luck with the new kids. They will need some extra help in the beginning. They do catch on fast. It gets easier every month. The boys are proud when they can take over and do it. But, they appreciate having some examples and some options to consider rather than just "OK. You're boy led. So, what are you going to do?"
  9. Dollar candy bars have worked best for our group. A case of candy runs $24 for 50 bars. They sell for $1 each, so profit is over 50 percent. This is a fairly low income area, but almost everyone can afford a dollar. Some neighbors and friends spring for $10 or $20 in candy while some just buy a single bar. In any case, it does add up with this being our best income maker. Often the candy bars include a coupon. The last coupon was $1.00 off a Subway sandwich. So, the candy bar ended up free for those who bought the candy and also ate at Subway and took advantage of the coupon. Check the yellow pages for a candy company. We had one about 25 miles away. A parent picked up the candy on the way to work in the city.
  10. If at all possible, let the guys practice in small groups (3 to 4). I have mini camp outs at my house. I give the guys $20, take them to the grocery store, and then they eat what they plan, buy, and prepare. If they buy an expensive meat, then they may not have enough for the other meals. If they forget butter for the pie irons, then they have to come in to borrow butter (and they hate to do that). If they burn the potatoes, then they have a lean meal. Once they do a couple of smaller group camp meals (with the back up of the house and kitchen close) and learn the ropes, then they are better able to work with the larger group to set up the meals. The boys who have camped here and done the whole process, have a better eye for costs and for things that might be overlooked (like salt and pepper). It does take longer and involves more work to set up some of the small cooking sessions first, but it really does pay off.
  11. Be sure to look at the links with advancement. For example, our brand new troop guys went to summer camp. Most of our boys did not take swimming. Then, they did not have the rescue part for first class. Our community pool is an outdoor pool. So, some of the boys ended up having to go across town to finish that one item for first class that would have been covered if swimming had been taken at camp. Also, ask around and see if any badges are next to impossible to earn at camp. Almost all the boys took rifle. None earned the badge with the required x number of shots in the size of a quarter. In fact, I think only 2 boys at the entire camp were able to hit the target with that accuracy with the guns provided. I know the boys here are telling the younger ones planning to go to camp this next year NOT to take rifle. It sound appealing when they are reading the list, but it was disappointing when almost all Scouts were failing to meet the required standards. Hope that helps a bit though suppose that may be more local in slant.
  12. LOL. You are funny. The recipe sounds good. We will have to give that a try. The boys here made a couple of dishes they liked and would likely have made the same ones from here until they aged out of Scouts (-: That's when I started rounding up some recipes. They look the 3 ring book over and decide on things they think sound good. Then they usually make a meal or two they've tried before and a new one on each trip. Titles help. Glad you had a good one. Thank you much!
  13. Yes. There are some good cookbooks out there. My favorites are the Cee Dub books. They focus on Dutch Oven but have a few other types of recipes plus "tale tales" (or stories from his camping experiences). My concern with the books available is that they are written with adults in mind. Some of the recipes are pretty complex. Authors assume that those using the books will know cooking terms and even ingredients that they likely won't know. The boys here didn't know what I meant by "rock salt" for instance. My book will include that it's not table salt but a chunky salt in a box. I want to have a book that the guys can use without help. I watch close as they are using books and cooking and write more detailed directions based on what I see happening. While I would know to mix the key lime pie in a bowl and pour in the shell, my Scout was going to toss all the ingredients in the pie shell to mix. Sounds good in theory. No bowl to wash. But, a graham cracker crust won't stand up to mixing.
  14. Our troop is new--almost a year now. Both my boys are involved. The older is always voted to the "leadership" spots. The younger is not. In a different group and time, the little guy might shine more obviously, but that's just how this played out. In the first round, only a couple of jobs were voted on--patrol leader and such. On the second round, the group added other jobs--like historian. Little guy accepted historian as basically an appointment. No one wanted the job in effect. He wanted to do "something" but is younger and overshadowed by having an older brother in the troop. He gladly took historian. Now, this was considered a "nothing" job initially. I helped little brother set up a workshop with a scrapbooker friend and with college students willing to help out (including athletes). All Scouts brought photos and other items like news clippings and brochures. Little brother historian keeps up pages, but he also has scrapbook time when the group has new photos and an extra 15/20 minutes at a meeting. They often have a little extra time at the end to make some pages which are then perhaps added to with dates and details to the basic page lay out. Kind of the long and short (OK--I'm longwinded) of this is that the historian job is now considered cool and fun in our troop. The scrapbook is great, and we've started on the second. This is a wonderful book to show new Scouts and families and to take for display. All boys are invested in so all feel proud of the scrapbook. The last elections (last week) for the start of the second year meant competition for historian as a position of value in the group. Little guy was voted in this time for his hard work and for doing a good job with the position of historian. As the mom person and working with my young Scout, I did the following: 1. Bought supplies and fun things like stickers to go with pages. Also provided magazines to clip out words and outdoor shots and such at no cost. 2. Helped with the contacts for a scrapbooker close in the age range (age 19) and some volunteers in the college age range to just hang out and help and encourage. 3. Snacks for those who came to the scrapbooking session which was on an extra night - not a meeting. 4. Make sure historian child has a good supply of stuff to make pages in a regular old cardboard box so that the guys can build pages when time allows and they want to do so. Though I firmly support boy lead and stepping back, it is good to make sure the boys have the things that help make any job successful. I know how to scrapbook (and cook). I can provide the tools and give help if asked. I can also provide contacts and extra help when needed to make it more fun than just a "gotta do this" kind of thing. I'm also glad to add perks like refreshments for hard work by all. In our troop now, historian, is considered cool. My younger son is proud to have the job and to have been voted in to do it a second round after working hard at the post. He knows he will have to continue to do a good job, because this is a job now where others would want the assignment and will compete for the post. I guess I am saying that any job can be "important" if the person doing it cares and does his best. My younger son may never be able to get the patrol "leader" spots, but he has his niche and is appreciated by his peers for his hard work and the nice collection of items reflecting the hard work of the group. He feels good about his job, and I am glad.
  15. If those titles don't get you going, then just wait til you see the recipe for baked crickets. Yep. The kind you use for bait when fishing. YUM. Thanks for the second welcome and also for all the great sharing here. I've found lots of wonderful ideas here at Scouter Network.
  16. LOL. That's funny. Hadn't thought of the possibilities. Since we're making every dish, and this book should run around 150 recipes, I will be bigger than the barn if we do a series. If folks have interesting service project ideas, I'd love more new ideas. The Red Cross was excited this morning when I took the cookies made by the boys and drinks bought by the troop. That's for the blood drive. The boys will go after school to help with giving out the snacks and clearing up the tables/chairs after. I try to have something new every month or two. I'm checking on Habitat for Humanity currently. I think they plan to start a new house here in March or April. Thanks for the warm welcome!
  17. Hi to all. I've visited this site for quite a while and often and just discovered the message boards. Neat place all round. I'm an active Scout mom with 2 sons. I type up the monthly calendars, buy the scrapbooking materials to keep a journal of activities and look around for service project ideas. Our group cooked at the homeless shelter, washed adoptable puppies at the dog pound, and tomorrow we're taking cookies made by the troop for the local blood drive. The guys aren't old enough to donate blood, but they can donate the snacks and hand those out to blood donators. One of my main areas with Scouts is cooking. I help the guys find recipes and set up meals for camping trips. My boys built a fire pit in the yard to test drive recipes before camping trips. It has been hard to find cookbooks for Scouts. I know BSA has a small phamplet. Cee Dub Dutch Oven books have quite a few recipes that work for Scouts. But, overall, this is an area where there is a serious lack. I write freelance part-time, so I decided to write a cookbook for Scouts. The title is "Greasy, Grimy, Gopher Guts and Other Favorite Scouts Recipes." It has both outdoor and indoor recipes, since the cooking merit badge has requirements to cook for the family at home as well. It will be a while before the book is done. Right now, I'm just collecting recipes and the Scouts are trying them out. We're only including the ones that are easy, good, and fairly inexpensive on ingredients. If anyone would like to send a recipe, then I can be contacted at cyndiallison@gmail.com I want to include your name, city, state, and troop number (or troop position) with your recipe if the local Scouts can make it up and like it. If you've seen church or community cookbooks with favorites, this is the style. Hard back with spiral and recipes from a variety of people. Our Scout group is enjoying trying all sorts of new recipes, and I think that this project will be helpful to Scouts down the road when it's done. My dad was a Scoutmaster for many years here in town. Both my brothers made Eagle. My sons are both at First Class currently. Thanks for having a space here to share ideas. I'm glad I found the forums. I've found lots of good information here at Scouter Network. Thanks, Cyndi
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