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Posts posted by diogenes

  1. LDS units don't have a specific religious problem with shorts. If the COH (or any other meeting)is held in the chapel, then that would be a respect issue, and shorts would be extremely frowned upon. Not specifically forbidden, but it had better be a "These are the only clothes I have" situation, not a "I didn't feel like getting gussied up.". Anywhere else in the building and shorts would be fine unless.


    Adults do have to make sure the shorts reach to the knee. I wear my switchbacks as shorts almost daily and they meet our requirements well enough.


    On the original question, yeah, in theory it should be up to the PLC, but there are times when an "adult override" is appropriate. Perhaps the rule was put in place at the insistence of the IH to make sure that proper decorum is maintained? The PLC should be running the troop, but they do need to stay within whatever guidelines are set by the IH (and BSA).

  2. We took a patrol tent to summer camp one year. It had enough room for 7 boys and gear. It took a fair amount of space, but less than the 3 or 4 4-man tents would have.


    The boys certainly had to learn to get along and did some bonding on that trip. They've used it a few times on regular plop style campouts since then, but they have also expressed an interest in 2 per tent or solo tenting.


    The ones pushing for the 2 per tent were the ones who tend to bring contraband food and other items, if that means anything.

  3. And here we are planning our Pack Day Camp and including the Cub Mobiles from the Bear Book as the highlight of the program....


    Are we going to ban the boys from completing a requirement in the book?


    I do admit that the safety belt seems to have been added just to make people feel better instead of for any real benefit.

  4. I've seen a variety of methods.


    One congregation was told to bring their checkbooks to sacrament meeting the next week. The next week, when sacrament meeting ended a bit early, we had a brief FOS presentation followed by "Turn in your envelopes and checks to Bro. ____ on the way out the door". I don't recommend this approach.


    More recently I saw that the bishop did a donation in the name of the ward to meet their goal, and left it at that.


    We're planning to do a brief presentation at the beginning of priesthood and Relief Society. We want to present to as many adults as possible, but felt it would give the wrong impression to do it over the pulpit.

  5. The Chapter and Lodge advisers were copied on the letter that was mailed out along with this email which went to the entire district. Doesn't mean they actually read the notice, but they were notified.


    I'm assuming the Chapter Chief is acting with best intentions, but just lacking experience or a good sounding board.


    At the moment I'm slightly peeved because this all-important meeting was cancelled 3 hours before it started and I didn't have a chance to check my email until now. I'll have to get over that part myself, though.



  6. Why not just register someone? That would be an easy answer, but doesn't solve the problem. For now, I am the one registered as the rep, with a note indicating that this was until we could get a youth to do it. I don't believe in empty POR patches, and the leaders that have taken the troop since I was moved up continue this policy. We're still trying to convince one of our 3 to step up (I'll brave the cold shoulder from my wife to take the boys if needed), but honestly our best hope for the troop is with the younger group coming up since they weren't burned by the past few years of non-function like these older boys were.


    As far as other leaders, I don't know if anyone would say anything aside from the person I trained to run Scouting for my ward. He came in brand new to Scouting a bit over a year ago, and is not happy with all the messes we've run into in this council and the outside obstacles we've had to get through to get this troop on the path to functioning properly (a topic for a different thread). From what I've seen, the OA here is mostly the same few large units dominating (and to be fair, they've done most of the work) and the smaller/newer ones not involved. So the ones receiving the message in the first place are almost all well-established within the chapter, aside from the few troops like my old one (well, sorta current one still, I was placed on the committee to help out in a pinch) which are coming out of disfunction/dormancy and trying to get traction.



    We're trying to get active and involved, but it's hard breaking the cycle with the established units. Probably sounds petty, but things like we have to ask them multiple times in order to get them to tell us the location of the meetings because they assume everyone knows where Troop X meets. We're doing what we can with the schedule conflicts and the "no Sundays" policy our church has but the guessing games and well-meaning but not entirely thought out ideas like this aren't helping.


    Anywho, thanks for being a sounding board. I like to follow Crockett's advice and "Make sure you're right, then go right ahead" before I make a fuss about something.

  7. Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere that I couldn't find:


    From an email I received last night from the Chapter Chief:


    "Question: Does your Boy Scout Troop have a Order of the Arrow Representative? Is he registered on our website? IF NOT, your troop is not eligible for unit elections and your Arrowmen cannot participate in chapter activities. Go online and register your OA Rep. today."


    I can understand the part about elections, but banning arrowmen from chapter activities because the troop doesn't have a Rep? Am I missing something, or just being less than cheerful? I can understand the chapter trying to grow and get people involved, and I doubt there is any malice intended with this rule, but I'm trying to find out if this is OA policy or a local decision so I know to whom I should address my concern over the probably unseen side effect.


    The reason for my question: inactive/partially functioning troops. The longer version of our story is below, but the essence is that there are several troops I am helping to rebuild which will probably be blocked from participation because the only OA member(s) in the troops (if any) are older scouts who are extremely busy with school/sports. A whole crop of younger members are waiting, qualified, and eager to be elected and participate, but if the troop has an (inactive) OA member on the roster somewhere, they're stuck. Units without any OA members can have an election team come out so they're ok, but what of the troops who are recovering from a downturn?




    Our personal story:


    I spent the past year reviving an LDS troop that existed mostly on paper for the previous few years (plenty of other threads for that, just stating what is so people know). We had to lean on the lodge advisor to get an election team to come out to our troop for the first time in our existence, even though we had scheduled an election team with the (previous) chapter chief 3 months ahead. We had 5 scouts meet the camping requirements for nomination (mainly through personal effort, such as one attending Philmont training with his father), 4 were elected, and 3 attended Ordeal. The troop committee nominated me for membership as I was the only adult who could meet the requirements (based on experience with my previous unit before I moved for my job).


    I listed myself as the temporary OA rep in my Scoutmaster capacity until we could get a youth member to accept the responsibility. Of the 3 members we have in the troop, one is a senior preparing to graduate, one is heavily involved in sports, and the third is busy with the family business. The third is the most available of this batch to take on being OA rep, but that is only comparitively speaking. However, we have a crop of younger scouts who now have the camping experience in order to qualify, and they have the time and motivation to participate when they become members.


    The troop we revitalized is just now starting to get steady on its feet. Going to summer camp last year was a major accomplishment. Getting some members into OA is a first ever for this unit, at least so far as anyone is aware for it's almost 20 year history.


    I was recently moved up to overseeing all of Scouting for my LDS stake. We have 10 congregations; from these 10 we have 4 troops being revived (the one I revived is the flagship for the others), 2 in the process of being started, and 4 trying to figure out if/how they should follow church policy regarding Scouting. I was replaced as SM for this troop so I could focus on my calling to get things to work with all of the units.


    In many ways I am spearheading the effort for getting LDS units in our council to participate outside of our own activities. I am the only active LDS member in our lodge from what little I've been able to see. If we can get an election team out to my old troop (I'm still listed as a committee member because we're very short on trained/experienced leaders), we'll have a 2nd adult LDS member to go with our current 3 boys and potential 5 others, and from there we can help the other units be ready next year for when they have boys meet the requirements.


    So again, long story short: We are in the process of trying to increase our involvement in OA and council activities from virtually nothing to pulling our weight. But the way I read this rule (policy), unless we can browbeat one of our 3 OA members into taking on the Rep job, we're stymied. Am I missing something?

  8. I was in a bit of a time crunch because my job was riffed and I was getting transferred in a few weeks. Instead of a big ceremony, we took a few minutes during a merit badge academy. This way we were able to do some recruiting for the next course, and I didn't have to ask my patrol buddies or the course leaders to come from hither and yon just for me, since they'd already be there with their troops.

  9. Another way to handle the committee situation (assuming you have enough leaders available) is to have the YM presidency form the core of the committee(s) and let the quorum advisors be the SM, Coach, Venture Advisor. The YM presidency can oversee the entire set of programs, and they can take a good chunk of the mentoring roles needed for VArsity and Venture units.


    If you have a 3-in-1 committee for scouts, I recommend having at least one person from Primary be on the committee to handle issues with the 11 year old Scouts, and to help coordinate activities with the Cubs as needed.

  10. Nick,


    Glad you've decided to stay on! Things are a bit different on the adult side, though. Not better, not worse, just different. It may take some getting used to.


    As far as knots:




    Keep in mind that you can wear the knot you receive with your Eagle (or should receive... there is a knot for adults to wear to represent their Eagle), a knot if you earned the Arrow of Light, and the knot for the religious award if you earned one as a youth.

  11. Perhaps the posting could include the major theories behind each? Most of the discussions I've seen on each topic tends to sort into a few different camps. I'm sure we're all mature enough to handle sorting out what the main viewpoints are, and let the main proponents of each write their answer. Then whoever comes searching the FAQs can look at the options, and pick the one that seems to be the best fit, and perhaps even report back.

  12. I haven't done it yet with my troop, and I don't plan to either. There are too many risk factors with social networking at this point.


    The boys might think it's the coolest thing since sliced cheese, and all the hubbub about generations and etc says we're supposed to cater to their whims, but there comes a time when the adults need to look at the big picture instead of just the "ooh, shiny!"


    Most of the kids are probably on the social networking anyway, but even still, I'd handle this carefully. I make a rule of not friending my students or Scouts in order to maintain boundaries.


    There are other methods of distributing information. A basic website with calendar and troop policies and procedures will cover most regular things. Having patrol and troop phone chains can handle any urgent messages.


    Yes, I'm 33 and I'm already acting like an old codger. Trying to get my boys to understand that outdoors means unplug the electronics and notice the nature that God created for us.

  13. This has YPT violations all over the place. Just renewed my Venturing YPT this morning, so very fresh in my mind. This needs to be reported to the Scout Executive. Did anything happen? Maybe, maybe not, but it is clearly a series of violations of YPT. From my experience and training in criminal justice, this is setting off all kinds of alarms.


    So far that I know, there is no scientific theory that needs to be discussed alone between a married man and a 16 year old girl, at least not anything that the BSA would condone.

  14. The metal clasps, according to an old Command Sergeant Major, are also known as dam*its! Supposedly from when a supply sergeant dropped a box of them on the floor after doing an inventory, but considering how much they hurt, especially when they get a hole and the pin pokes through...


    Anyway, I have a name plate that was made with a magnetic plate and metal backing. No pins, no pokes, though I suppose this would cause all kinds of fun when doing compass work.


    I usually just wear the dangly leather name badge I got when I earned my beads (Go Beavers!). No pokes, no navigation errors, no fussing about "is that official?". Of course, it keeps me from putting other danglys, so, hmmmm.


    An embroidered name strip sounds nice, but I'm worried that it would seem too "military". Love the military, grew up in the Army, started Scouts in the Transatlantic Council, but I know some Scouters and Professionals really push the "we ain't military!" angle kinda hard.

  15. This might be better in the Uniforms part of the forums, but it relates to Wood Badge so I'll put it here.


    I'm in the process of reviving a dormant troop, and we're working on choosing full uniforms (including hat and neckerchief). The boys have selected one of the newer full-size neckerchiefs, as it is actually useful.


    They haven't decided yet on how to secure the neckerchief. We could do slides, tie a not, make custom slides, etc. I had the idea (after a boy asked about my woggle) that perhaps the boys could make their own woggles from parachute cord, like we did on Day 1 of the course. The idea behind this is that in an emergency, the woggle could be unraveled and the cord used to tie things (bandage, shelter, etc).


    So, the question is: Would it be acceptable for the boys to make and wear their own woggles if they choose that option? If yes, does the color matter?

  16. My experience was that it really energized me as a person and a Scout leader. I had inherited a broken troop and the Scoutmaster and I had struggled for a year and hadn't gotten anywhere. We'd had the training, but were were spinning our wheels. Our Wood Badge experience made the difference. It wasn't so much that we learned how to run a troop or be leaders (we already knew), but I think for us it was just the experience of meeting other leaders and forging ties and contacts that you really can't do at roundtables. We also learned a lot about ourselves, and after having had the chance to "be boys again" we came out with a fresh look and understanding.


    Not long after, we not only revived our troop, but helped form 2 Cub packs, another troop, and a Varsity team, all from our floundering unit. It is still small (mainly due to the population of the area), but it is functioning and the boys are coming and enjoying the program.


    As a WEBLOS leader, you have the unique position of not only leading boys, but helping them get excited to move on and continue with the Boy Scout program. If you have the time and the money, I'd suggest taking the course now, especially as a lot of councils only offer the course every few years.

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