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ham_solo

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About ham_solo

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  1. ham_solo

    SCOUTBOOK to be free as of 1 Jan 19

    What I don't get is why are they still talking about releasing the Scoutbook Lite version as well later this year, which was supposed to originally be the free replacement for Internet Advancement, but you would still have to pay for the full Scoutbook. Now that the full Scoutbook will be free for all, why in the world is BSA still going to waste money on "Scoutbook Lite" version also, and have to maintain a totally separate software product, with a "different user interface" from now until forever that will only be used by a small percentage of units? That sort of thinking is just wasting resources to me and just someone not willing to admit their project is not needed anymore. The only reason for Scoutbook Lite to exist in the first place, was because of the original scheme that the regular Scoutbook was going to continue to be a paid product, and they needed something free to replace internet advancement, because they could not force everyone to pay for the full version. But, now that the full scoutbook is going to be free, what in the world are they thinking? /Still plan to continue to use TroopTrack for our troop because it has every feature that people have been asking for years in their forums to be added to Scoutbook(and little if any progress has been made apparently over the years).
  2. Scoutbook Subscriptions will be free starting January 1, 2019 In an effort to drive program consistency and deeper engagement with our youth and leaders, Boy Scouts of America is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2019, Scoutbook subscriptions will be free to all BSA units. Scoutbook (https://www.scoutbook.com ) is an online unit management tool that ensures that you never miss a Scouting moment—from tracking advancements to milestone achievements along the Scouting adventure. When units with a current Scoutbook account need to renew their subscription this fall, they will not pay any renewal fees effective September 1, 2018. When councils with Scoutbook accounts for their units need to renew these unit subscriptions this fall, they will not pay any renewal fees effective September 1, 2018. Essentially, units (or councils paying for their units) can renew Scoutbook subscriptions in September, October, November, or December 2018 at no cost. For units currently without a Scoutbook account, they can begin their free Scoutbook unit subscription on January 1, 2019.
  3. I bet $100 he gets it if he appeals to National. I denied one recently for similar circumstances as SM, for a scout who had not been camping since 2014, had not correctly finished 5 eagle merit badges, never served in a position as Life, etc.. but the parents submitted what looked more like a legal brief to Council/National than a request, and in their letter made it sound like all of us leaders were incompetent, etc. And eventually after even the Council Eagle Committee who performed their investigation and reviewed it did not give their approval, still when they sent it with their non-recommendation to National, the Troop was still overruled by National, and so the Council gave him a board and approved his eagle anyway. None of us in the Troop were involved in the board, we refused. I got the feeling National and Council just wanted them to go away and gave them whatever they wanted so they would not go to court. That is the way it is these days.
  4. ham_solo

    Eagle Palms Confusion

    Ok, I am totally confused about the current Eagle Plam's requirements of the month. Is the 3-month active after eagle requirement gone? I believe it is still published in the guide to advancement, but I have read in a few places it is gone. The requirements for scoutmasters conference and board are gone as well I believe. I have a young man who just earned his eagle but I am not sure if I can award him palms right away for the merit badges that qualify or not. Is there even an official 'form' anymore to submit? Everything I can find has the old requirements on them. Or do I just award them and submit them via regular advancement form stuff? I gotta say, that this scoutmaster is confused.
  5. ham_solo

    Why Not Girl Guides?

    US Girl Scouts are actually wrongly named Girl Guides. They are part of the international Girl Guides (and scouts), and are actually the only group in that international organization that calls themselves scouts and not guides. Personally I think is what confuses people. GSA is following the guides program and is not actually 'scouts for girls'.
  6. Anyone have any scoutmaster minutes about "the WHY" of the Law and Oath? Why we follow those, why those are important, and why they should care? I feel like we stand up and we say those the oath and law before every meeting, we talk about them sometimes, discuss how they apply in their lives, and talk about them when it comes time to advance and in BOR's... . but I just don't fell like we don't really communicate "the why" to the youth. How did my scoutmaster(s) instill into me these things enough that I carried them with my whole life and still try to live by them today? Did I just absorb it via osmosis? I want the boys to feel about the oath and law the same way I did and still do today, but I just am not sure how to do it. Any ideas?
  7. ham_solo

    Smile, or Don't. Have fun with it.

    I like the uniform better than the current official one.
  8. ham_solo

    From National: Official Name

    The real question I have is this... When will BOYS LIFE magazine change it's name?
  9. ham_solo

    From National: Official Name

    I have a sit-down meeting with my CO next week and hope to get/set some direction. My own position as SM, and the current position of the other leaders (at least the ASMs and CC) as well as the parents in the Troop I have talked to, right now are not interested in pursuing a girls program and will stick with being a boys only Troop. Our sister Pack with the CO, will probably have girls I think but I have not confirmed it with the brand new Cub master. They are closely affiliated not only with our CO(church), but also with the neighborhood elementary school where they have all their meetings so I am guessing they will get lots of push for girls to join next recruitment nite at the elementary school. Most likely the best thing we can do for the girls is find whatever girls troop gets formed in our district or whatever and send the girls that way, just as we have in the past sent them to those couple of venture crews we had in the area before. I see girl scouts as experimental, and not every troop needs to do it, heck there are not even enough girls for that. The most natural thing will be for a couple of troops in each district/council to be the 'girl' troops for now and to send them all there.
  10. ham_solo

    From National: Official Name

    > "new, separate girl's program" that was initially promised is frankly an affront Or it could actually be that national has actually heard from all those people who were actually planning on doing the girls program which kept saying, that a) they will never find enough leaders to staff an entire other girls troop, b) most of us forming it will be leaders from the boys troop anyway with a few additional female leaders added and c) it will just be a separate troop only on paper to begin with because we can't be in two places at once So slowly national will probably have to admit that it is going to be really one program, with separate patrols about as far as it will most likely go, pretty much like the cubs. It was pretty obvious the original separate program scheme national had was sorta half-baked, especially when they came out with that whole 'linked-committees' stuff.
  11. ham_solo

    From National: Official Name

    Should have copied the "UK Scouts" that they switched to when they went co-ed, and just changed to "US Scouts". Because we all know that eventually BSA will need change their name to "Scouts of America", "Scouts America", like Scouts Canada, or something similar to the UK as "Scouting Association of the US" , or "US Scouting Association" or whatever anyway in the future, and that will now cause yet another name change for the scouting program again later. Shows a bit of a lack of forward thinking to me. Oh well, I also see in my crystal ball a future change to the program to move to what all the rest of the world scouting organization members have done already as far as program ages with a more natural progression of either the UK system where they have cubs(7-10)->Scouts(10-14)->Explorers(14-18)->ScoutNetwork(18-25) OR the way it used to be in the UK and still is in lots of places such as Canada with cubs(7-10)->scouts(11-14)->venture scouts(15-17)->rover scouts(18-26), which will eliminate ages with the current Venturing program that conflict with the Scout program and give them more definition to what they fit in.
  12. ham_solo

    Family Scouting Update

    I believe we will be getting new Scout books sometime in the summer as well, in preparation for the Feb eligibility of girls in Scouting. My local national scout shop has told me that supply of existing books is drying up.
  13. ham_solo

    Troopwebhost vs Scoutbook

    Read that announcement closely. https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2017/12/21/scoutbook-lite-to-replace-bsas-internet-advancement-platform-in-early-2018/ The things concern me there: "read-only API's", and "no...API's to third parties" and "no longer support the CSV data file import" Those make me think that BSA is getting ready to give the shaft to all other Troop tracking programs.
  14. ham_solo

    NO committee meeting for over a year

    Not totally uncommon for a very small troop. Our troop is very small and I can't get enough adult volunteers to staff an actual committee. The troop leadership consists of myself(SM), the former SM(now ASM), and one other adult committee member who acts as treasurer and advancement chair. We are the only 3 of us that have access to the troop funds. Our rules are we never sign checks for anything that pays to ourselves as reimbursement, we have to show documentation (receipts) to one of the other of us and they have to write the check. For any large purchases we always notify each other before doing so. The treasurer rarely pays for anything himself since he does not go on any trips except to summer camp, so he watches the bank statements and gets photocopies of every check from the bank and basically provides additional checks and balances to the two of us that actually have to pay for things on a regular basis. I am pretty comfortable that our setup provides proper oversight and ensures responsible use of troop funds. Our only "committee meeting" is once a year we get together and take the yearly plan the boys come up (eg go to X and do canoeing in July, go caving at Y in March etc), and put actual dates down on paper doing our best to make the dates work with our work schedules, the local school yearly calendar, holidays etc. I guess this is because the three of us have informal committee meetings almost every week when we talk about whatever issue is going on in the troop. If I could actually find enough adults to staff a real committee with a dedicated treasurer, secretary, chairperson, etc like we had back when I was in the pack, it would be great, but that seems to be harder and harder these days.
  15. 1) It sounds like a good idea probably in the boardroom, but frankly I just don't see there being enough volunteers to staff totally duplicate programs. Maybe I am wrong, but based on what I know from my own troop, and what I know of our sister cub scout pack, there just aren't enough people willing to help out to make this happen. 2) How long until certain merit badges are dropped now because they have "sexist" content, or are labeled as "not fair" for the female scouts... I am not trying to be a chauvinist here or anything, but come on, we all know how this works these days and how parents are.
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