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dewASM

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About dewASM

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  1. dewASM

    What is hazing?

    If you made me stand up in public and sing, I would be mortified. I have a terrible voice, know it and do not sing in public - except quietly in Church because God will forgive me. Had I been made to do this as a child, I would probably never return to whatever venue caused me such embarrassment. However, being the goody two shoes that I was, a very stern reminder would have made me change my behavior. My guess is that those who are willing to change their behavior do not need to be publicly humiliated to do it. And those who are not willing to change their behavior probably also do not care about singing in public. To them attention, either positive or negative, is good. In general, I am not a fan of any corrective action that singles out any individual in public if it's sole purpose is humiliation or embarrassment. But then again, I am not fond of humor based on embarrassing others either. I simply believe there is a better way to make your point - or make people laugh - then making someone the target of ridicule.
  2. I am always amazed at how quickly the claim of confidentiality or 'my hands are tied' comes out after someone has done something ridiculous or just plain wrong. Suddenly they don't want to talk about it. By then it is too late. If they did not want to talk about the situation with a Scout's parents, they should never have brought the subject up with the Scout. BTW, I recognize the need for not addressing an entire group but am talking about a minor's parent. And I believe that if these adults truly believed they were doing the right thing and protecting other Scouts, they would have no problem explaining their actions to a parent. I wouldn't.
  3. dewASM

    So what in the world are they supposed to do?

    I have to stick up for Basementdweller here. I have a Council a lot like his and understand his frustration. It often feels as if they try to make your life more difficult. I am not sure you understand the frustration unless you have been there. For those of you who have councils that provide assistance, Bravo!! and thank them. But people like us who not only do not get assistance but sometimes feel like they purposely try to annoy us, it is hard to open our wallets. And before you all have a cow, in our district there is no Roundtable. The Spring Camporee was just cancelled. The winter event had nothing there that was advertised just a tour that we could have taken on our own any weekend. I do not have a UC. When I asked about a merit badge counselor for coin collecting I was told I would have to drive to Council an hour one way to get a name. When I got there, they handed me an old binder with unsorted pages. Some of those people were dead! In our old troop, we had massive problems - way too many to list - I spoke to the DE who said he could do nothing for us. If we weren't happy, start a troop. So I found a sponsor, and a committee and boys. Then he said whoa, we should talk about this. Too late. He has never handed me a single sheet of paper except popcorn material. At camp, he walks around the last day to ask how it went. My boys pay their own way to camp. A council camp that has tent platforms that are rotting and cots that collapse. But we go to council camp. At the last camp work day, our troop and only one other showed up. My DE was too busy to say thank you, he was painting a sign while my boys set up all the tents. I recharter and do advancement on line. I wanted a pair of pants for my son so went to council store. They did not have the correct size so said they would order them for me. It took 4 months to get the pants. I should have ordered them on line. In the interest of full disclosure, there is one woman who works in the store who has been very helpful. She is on the committee of another troop and has shared tons of information with me. Everything from forms, planning, COH scripts. Not because she is paid to do this as part of her job, but as one volunteer to another. So no, I don't contribute to FOS. Every penny I have to give to scouting goes to things my troop needs because that is the only way we get anything.
  4. I have read this thread and the one from which it was spun and something about them 'bothered' me. I have finally come to the conclusion that I am bothered by the boy's mother contacting the old troop for records. Why? If the boy has his book and council had records, what could you need from the old troop? For merit badge partials, the boy should have a blue card. And even if you didn't, why open a can of worms just do it again. It seems to me if the boy has been counseled and truly wants to start over, just do it. The mother's only purpose in going to the old troop would be to kind of thumb her nose as if to say "see you did not succeed in getting rid of us." And that, in my very humble opinion, does not bode well for the new troop.
  5. If the two mothers are fluent in English then the only reason to speak Polish is to exclude others and that is rude. I have been on the receiving end of being in a meeting where everyone spoke English and yet they conducted part of the meeting in Spanish. It did not matter whether they were speaking about me, it was done to make others feel unwelcome, excluded and isolated. This is not a civil rights matter, it is a matter of manners! I work in Boy Scouts and this certainly doesn't pass my kind, courteous or thoughtful test. I might moderate my thoughts, a little, if one or both is not fluent in English. Then this might be a matter of transmitting information but then a simple explanation to other would help.
  6. dewASM

    Scout spirit

    This line: "Yes he and dad camped with us....both memorable including the boy melting down when we threw him and his steak out of the patrol dining area. " .... is one that particularly made me think of my nephew. A true 'punk' would have reveled in being thrown out. They would have worn it as a badge of honor. They would never let you see them care. The 'melting down' is more indicative of a child who does care, who is surprised by the reaction... Again, I have never met these people, but something in this narrative strikes a chord with me.
  7. dewASM

    Scout spirit

    Hey SeattlePioneer I wasn't trying to diagnose this Scout. Nor was I advocating indulging this Scout or my nephew in fact, my sister-in-law and I have had some heated discussions about the line between helping and overprotecting. And I also recognize that the responsibility lies with the parent to clue in leadership, but many parents, including my brother, have struggled mightily with admitting his son is not perfect. Though I frequently remind him that no child is perfect, some imperfections are just more noticeable than others. When I read this thread, I could picture my nephew's smiling face in some of these scenarios. He wouldn't recognize the chaos he was creating. So I wanted to mention the possibility that there was more going on than one might think. To perhaps provide another way to view this behavior. And in reality, maybe these people are just jerks. But maybe....
  8. dewASM

    Scout spirit

    Just a question...... Is it possible this boy has issues? I can see my nephew who suffers from Aspergers doing some of these things. He is very intelligent and very high functioning BUT only eats certain foods, sleeps certain places, etc. And he lacks the social skills and ability to realize he should not wave his steak at other people. His sense of what is amusing or appropriate is not always on target he lacks the ability to 'read' a situation. My nephew is also very literal. So if the requirement said help, he would help not do. If the requirement said go, but not how long to say for, once he arrived he would think he had completed the requirement. You need to carefully and fully explain exactly what you want him to do. I can also see my brother not saying it is right doing some of the parental things ie taking him to a motel. He doesn't do it to be obnoxious but because he is often overwhelmed with fear for his child. Sadly, this often makes things worse but I can't condemn him because I do not live with his issues 24/7. Some of the things you mentioned reminded of my nephew so I thought I would ask. Sometimes these issues can be hard to spot if a parent is not honest and upfront. Just a thought....
  9. Yup, once a year by council. Always the first weekend in June. Leader specific is usually once a year too. And no Roundtable in my district. No NYLT in at least 3 years. So my question is if training is so important that I must be mandated to do it, why is it not important to Council or District? To me it is clearly a very mixed message.
  10. My problem is not the training but that they mandate training and then.... 1. make me pay for it 2. I have to travel AT LEAST an hour and a half in each direction to take it 3. It is only given once a year and always on the same weekend. One which is not practical for me. I am a salesman working on commission and it is given during the busiest three weeks of my year. Not to mention it is the same weekend as Honor Society Inductions and several other events in June. I am not the only one in my rural area to complain about the timing and logistics. Offer it at camp. I have said if they do it in the fall, I'm there. And every year Council promises to make changes and every year they offer the same thing. Work with us, not against us. This year they had NYLT scheduled for August. I was thrilled and going to send 2 boys. They just cancelled - and not for lack of participation. They hadn't even advertised it yet. I only knew because I went looking through the calendar for it. When I asked, they suggested two alternates. Both are done over two weekends. One is more than two hours away. The other does one weekend at a camp 1.5 hours away and the second weekend is 3 hours away. to drop off and pick up means 16 hours of driving over two weekends, not to mention the cost in gas. Could they make training any more difficult?
  11. dewASM

    I gotta quit taking this personally...

    I guess I see this a little differently. He has been active until the last meeting, so what makes you assume they are quitting? And his mother asked about schedules? So... Maybe his mother is working overtime during tax season, his grandmother is sick, his brother is failing school, the roof leaks, the dog is dying,.... I think you get the idea. The reality is that scouting is only part of everyone's life. Wait a week or two, call, and just ask if everything is okay. Tell them the pack and den misses their son. Who knows they might be encouraged to return. Case in point, I have a Scout (Boy scout not Cub) who has missed about two months of meetings. But it's a small town, so I know his dad was sent back to jail and his mom works nights tending bar. Every time I see him, I tell him we miss him. I send him notices of all events. He'll be back, probably, when life is not so hard. And even if he doesn't come back, he'll know someone continues to think about him. Sometimes the problems are not so obvious. And sometimes life just interferes.
  12. dewASM

    Starting a new pack

    Did not start a pack, but did start a troop. I don't disagree that you need to follow the guidelines, but on a practical level, I might suggest: 1. What role will you play? Cubmaster, Committe Chair, Charter Org Rep 2. Now that you have chosen, find someone to fill the other roles. 3. This gives you a core group. Use this group to recruit the other adults you think you would need. I would suggest 3 more members of the committee (to add to the CC and COR) and several den leaders. You might be able to fill some den leaders from parents after sign up, but IMO having no leadership in place would be really scary! 3.Once you have your adults in place, have a planning meeting. What do you want to do for the year? When are you going to do it? Where will all this take place? Come up with a calendar. You can make changes or additions later, but you have to have a plan to start. 4. Okay, now how are you going to pay for it? 5. Lastly, divvy up the responsibilities. You cannot do it all (I tried!). Leave your planning meeting knowing you have a plan, a way to pay for it and people committed to making it work. don't forget to delegate the paperwork - it is easy to remember that someone should be in charge of recruitment but easy to forget who is in charge of the paper! 6. Now go get those boys!!! It has not always been an easy process. We made mistakes, did things the hard way.....but the troop is thriving, the boys are happy, we see advancement. All in all, a positive experience. Once we got operational, I started setting goals. It has helped me to focus on my goals for the year as a way to see the big picture. When something goes wrong or an event doesn't come off, I look at the goals and realize it is not the end of the world. Take a step back, have a cup of coffee and move toward that goal.
  13. dewASM

    Marketing Scout Programs

    My frustration is more often that Scout events promise something and then don't deliver. Then it is hard to get the boys excited about the next event. for example, last October at a big Centennial event, they promoted heavily a certain band. When we arrived, the band was not playing, instead there was a comedian. They had also promised areas to work on the Centennial merit badges but no one could find them either. This year we did an event at Howes Cavern that was advertised to include booths to work on the geology merit badge. When we got there is was one woman sitting on the floor talking about some of the requirements. Interestingly, in the past, we have done a geology merit badge day at Herkimer Diamond Mine which was fabulous. Teachers and professionals in the field talking about rocks, the chance to dig, small groups. The boys loved it. Don't promise what you can't deliver. As a salesman, I know this is the worst thing you can do. Better to keep their expectations low and surprise them but not so low that you do not interest them in coming. Be excited about an event, be positive, tell them what they will get from it but don't say it and not do it.
  14. dewASM

    merit badge challenge

    RememberSchiff Bravo! That is it exactly. I had the local science teacher ready to Environmental Science and Geology. Fascinating guy who lives off the grid actually generates his own electricity. But the whole references, YP, etc turned him off. He has been teaching for 37 years. Has done all this, why do it again. And FYI, someone who wants to harm a child will do so even if they have taken YP. In fact, they are the ones willing to take YP if it means access to children. YP is about covering someone's butt not protecting children. Ask me about the local priest who was committee chair who was just convicted of spanking little boys. Did YP for Scouts, Virtus at church, etc. It did not matter. Lisabob you will be proud to know that I counsel several badges and do so council-wide. I have been asked to work on Communications with boys from another troop. However, I must say it was because I know a member of their committee through the council office. But it was great. I enjoyed meeting and talking to the boys. If we want experts, we need to streamline the process while still protecting the boys and I agree that the protection will come from the parents and leaders. Truthfully, educating the boys to avoid potentially threatening situations is the best way to safeguard them.
  15. dewASM

    Making it easy

    Clemlaw: "I wonder what they'll make of it when they get an application out of the blue from someone interested in counseling a few obscure MB's, and who is willing to work with any Scout in the council. " Oh Clemlaw, how I wished you lived in upstate NY!!! Finding MB counselors has been one of the hardest parts of being a new Scoutmaster in a new troop, because so few people think like you do. And we live a very rural area which limits the talent pool.
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