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About derf

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    W. Michigan
  1. TC's were fun, I had worse problems with the Bears. I had promised myself that I would never use a conduct prop. Started using a conduct candle by the 2nd month, along with a "code of conduct" poster/contract with lots of do's and as few as possible don'ts (done by the boys). I would use the candle as short term recognition (sm. candle or draw lines on a larger one) and give a special treat for the first, dollar store toy for second, "MY" brownies for the third, etc., ending with a pizza or ice cream party for the last. I used the host family each week, so as to give everyone their 15 min. of fame, and it got everyone use to being the leader and giving respect to that leader. As long as they were properly prepared for the craft or whatever, it worked well. Plus it gave the team (TC & partner) to bond at home getting ready. Let that host do a little extra at each meeting (opening, lighting the candle, pass out snacks, etc.) Make sure the partners get involved too, if they aren't singing, let the boys turn around and watch to see who isn't being involved, and make them do a silly stunt or song in front of everyone, they will sing louder as a group... And try to let them ride the "roller coaster" of attention spans. Gathering game as a high, opening as a low, cheer/song - high, craft - low, game/activity - high, char. conn./closing - low, snacks - high, clean up and send them home. (etc...) They will endure the low to get to the high. Use the Scout Sign instead of the voice, if your hand is in the air longer than 30 sec., blow out the candle (or give them one warning). As they learn, shorten the time. And most definatly, recruit a den chief!! or a couple of crazy asst's. It's good for you and the Boy Scout (3 of my 4 den chief's have made Eagle!). But, most of all, have fun. If they see you getting frusterated, they will feed on it... Just some ideas, good luck, and thanks for being a Scouter! YIS, Fred
  2. SeaGull, First and foremost, congradulations are due to your son (and you!) for the committment to Scouting and a quality program. I've seen many teenagers who are treated unfairly, never look back (Youth groups, church, sports teams, Scouts, etc.). Second, (this was a lot to try to digest in one sitting), there was a lot of good advice given (some better then others) as to the way your son (and you) should handle this, but, from what I could tell from your postings, he did what he was suppose to do. The SM should not have been yelling at the scouts, it was not HIS training. With JLT, the youth run the training (current and former SPL, ASPL, Eagle's, JASM) the adult should only advise, and should have had a pre-training for the presenters. If someone has got a POR, just like with "fast start", someone (SPL, ASM, etc.) should have already brought him up to speed on how to do the job during the first month, not 5 mo. into it. The SM conference should not, if schedualed properly, ever be denied. A BOR can be set with the request for no advancement, but not denied the meeting. The BOR is about more than advancement, it is the feedback on how the troop's health is and what is needed to direct the scoutmaster on how to run their program. As to MB mill's at camp... (Kudo's to your son on MB's), nothing should ever be "given", only earned. I earned half of my 34 MB at camp (Eagle '73), and I can't ever remember earning one through the troop. Scouting is about advancement, not nessesarily rank. How to set goals, and then, how to acheive them. MB's expand their horizion's, skill's and knowledge. Sometimes Scouters forget we are advisors, not leaders. When we take a POR in the troop, we have a commitment to the youth, and to their betterment. If our emotions, children, family, job, etc. get in the way of providing a quality program based on the Oath & Law, then we should not take that job. And as to advancement, it says we are to provide "immediate recognition" for those acheivments. Sorry to run on, but it upsets me that more boys are run off, than retained, in many units, by not following a quality youth oriented program. (I could rant on, but I should climb off my soapbox...) Let us know how your son does, tell him to soar with the Eagles, if that is what he wants, we would be honered to share the sky with him. YIB, Fred
  3. GW & gunny2862. Sorry, I will try to find out where. We had an incident this summer with a youth, Council rep. told us that we could not single out youth in front of troop. Something about a suit with the ACLU, didn't want it to possibly cost the unit. Also said Nat. did not approve. Thanks, Derf.
  4. Not fun, nor right. We all have had to chew an "ill" tasting sandwich, from time to time. So goes the Picnic, but, is your job for the "Boy's" or just something for the district and council? If it's for and about the Scout's, continue doing a great job, because they need "more fun", and someone to provide it. If not, maybe they need a little cactus in their preperation H, make 'em squrim! I had tried to use co-chairs for the events I ran, so we could keep rotating people through (or at least back & forth), without the learning curve. When one got "stole" for another duty, I agreed to run that event one more year, if they could find another co-chair, they didn't. The year after that, the event fell apart. The Cub's lost out! (& a district fundraiser too.) It felt bad, after being on staff and the chair/co-chair (4yrs) to see them lose a good (great) event. Don't let the Scout's lose out.... Derf
  5. Scout or Scouter tent? Funny or Not Funny? Remember, praise in public, punish in private. If you address the whole troop with the problem, no problem. If you single out one scout in public, Nat. BSA considers that "Hazing" and is a HUGE no-no. We had a problem like this years ago, except it escalated to the real stuff. Got charged by the Council for a Summer Camp tent, Troop (Scout's family) had to pay!! Scout dropped out. A loss in both case's.
  6. Welcome, and thanks for being a Scouter, as well as an involved parent. I was in your shoes 6 years ago. The only advantage was my years as a scout. But it is completely different on this side of the fence. Get as much help as possible: Program helps book, How-To book, Leaders book, etc. They will make it a lot easyer. Get trained. Any thing helps! If your council has roundtables, try to go. The program helps book is the best help to give you an idea of how to run a program. Use the "Host family" to your advantage, it gives everyone their 15 minutes of fame, and leadership. If you have a couple of assistant leaders, use them to keep the boys going, while you convey info to the parents. But make the adults be involved, it's a team concept. If they aren't involved, the kids won't be either. And, unfortunatly, it the adults don't have fun, they won't bring back the scouts. And most definately, try to find a den chief or an experienced scouter for a mentor. It cuts the learning curve back. The den chief can keep them directed and they have a better energy level than us old, tired parents. The "Baloo's Bugle" (online) gives some great ideas too. If I can be of any assistance, derf13@charter.net Thanks for what you do for Scouting, everyone will thank you in the years to come for the difference you are making now. Yours in Short Pants, Fred
  7. Pack's 4043 & 4048, Troop 1048 & Crew 2048, Whitehall and Montague, Michigan Pere Marquette District, Gerald R. Ford Council WWW.whitelakescouting.org We are proud of all our Scouts!
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