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Alabama Scouter

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Everything posted by Alabama Scouter

  1. Ugh. Terrible. About as worthless as those old canvas patch pocket pants. Who would put cargo pockets on the front? Obviously someone whose never used them. Reviewed by someone who has never camped. They had the first ones right, with zipped legs and side cargos. Progress! UGH!
  2. What part of the Scout Oath and Law are the perpetrators following by hazing this scout? This type of bullying has no place anywhere in the program, and adults that poo poo it are, in my opinion, partially responsible for why this behavior still exists in scouting. Scouting should be a safe place, where boys can learn and have fun, without the tags some teens try to put on others. The Camp Director will see the need to deal with this quickly and firmly, as failure to do so will soon be known by all, and his attendance will be hit. If you think this is going to make it worse for the
  3. I've had 2 UC's. The first was a good guy, but didn't do much. He did show up on schedule. The second has been once in 18 months. I'm told that my unit is "on cruise control" and we don't need them. I gather from that comment that UC's are here for damage control, fire fighting and mop up duty, when the adults can't play nice.
  4. How does your troop handle scouts with disabilities? Are they welcomed? What is the most severe type of disability have you seen in an active troop?
  5. Our annual dues are $100. We give the scouts 100% of the commission on the first $300.00 of popcorn, then 50/50. We camp 10-11 times a year, including summer camp. We have one family campout a year. We have one "expensive" trip a year, which runs about $75.00. Other trips are in the range of those mentioned. My recommendation to new parents is, don't buy anything at Wal-Mart or any other discount store. I provide recommendations on gear that they can buy one or two pieces at a time and not break the bank, and as it is needed. For example, a first year scout does
  6. One specific thing you can do is to nominate the guy or gal that has been working in the trenches without notice or complaint, because their heart is in the right place. Don't expect that it will get done. Do a good write up on the nomination form and send it in!
  7. You might check the leaders guide to your camp. If not in there, ask the camp director what the standard is. In my area, activity uniform for morning assembly, and field uniform for the rest of the day, including last meal. My troop does hawaiian shirt days on Wednesday.(This message has been edited by Alabama Scouter)
  8. What a raw deal. This may well doom that entire troop to failure, and in a short time at that. It is the leaders that put the wear and tear on their trucks that deliver the program (no pun intended). The (whining) parents of 1st year scouts should not hardly have a seat at the (committee) table until they have proven they have bought into the program as it's being delivered. They do have a choice of which troop they join, after all. Or start their own, instead of a spineless coup like this. Sad. They probably don't know that they've killed the unit, either. I won
  9. In 7 years of popcorn sales, we've had one bad check. And unfortunately, we sat on it for a month. The bounced check fees cost us $54.00, so we really went in the hole there. Deposit the checks ASAP. Cash is OK in my book, as long as the money is turned in weekly at scout meetings. We do a short but furious popcorn push to reach our goal.
  10. Our camp has gone to leaving the tents up year round. With a full size awning over each tent, the life expectancy is as long or longer than tents torn down and set up each year. Plus, the camp is available for use year round, ready to go. My troop prefers the canvas wall tents; personal insect screens and bug spray take care of what bugs we've got, and there is room for the scouts footlockers and gear. It works for us. Plus, camp is so rough it'd be hard to find tent spaces for 800 scouts. What bothers me about this cost shift is, where does it end?
  11. While your post is directly related to Cub Scouts, it is an issue in Boy Scouts too. I was just in a meeting last week and we were bemoaning the fact that baseball, soccer, band, football, girls, etc. all come before the meeting or the campout. Little did I know less than an hour later in a SM conference that a new scout had foregone a basketball game to come to the meeting, and had missed 4 others for scouts. That made my day.
  12. I had an awesome time in my Wood Badge course. Sorry basementdweller did not. WB exposed me to parts of the program I was unaware, being a fairly new scouter at the time. Later I was asked to serve on staff, and was impressed with the effort the Course Director took to recruit first time staffers. When asked again to serve, again the CD bent over backwards to recruit first time staffers. It was well over 50% that time. That is hardly elitist. I've read about some councils where WB is an insiders game. That is too bad, and I'm thankful my council is not one of these! The networking tha
  13. re: The Scouting Party; A good book, and an interesting read. Given the tumultuous early years of the BSA, it seems that we may have been doomed to keep repeating history (tongue in cheek). IMHO, of all of the principals, Seton seems to be the one most stuck on himself. Recommended reading to anyone with a passing interest in the BSA.
  14. OGE, not taken in a harsh way at all. Like all adult leaders, I suppose I and our TC have struggled with boy lead. The parents have a harder time than the boys (and one or two leaders, I might add). I guess the question of which I know the book answer is, what are the bounds of boy lead? (GSS, safety, etc.). I'd like your opinion, OGE, on this point, and Beavea, too. I've seen more than a few times what electronics does on an event. I know, too, that there is ZERO conversation in a vehicle if Ipods and smart phones are allowed. Pretty much same thing around the camp
  15. "It can be a race, but the best Eagles I've seen have made it a journey." I fully agree. I've seen young boys dragged by their heels to Eagle, and only too late for the dad to say it was not the best thing to do. But I've also seen boys slow down of their own accord because they said they weren't ready/mature to make Eagle yet. The best Eagles make it a journey and learn about themselves along the way.
  16. Popcorn can be a pain, but the past few years, we made these tweaks, and had our best year last year. 1)collect the money up front 2)provide the customer with a receipt, an approx. date of delivery, and a phone # 3) deposit checks promptly 4)keep good records 5)deliver ASAP As far as feeding scouts when they lost their return lunch money: I feed them, and turn the bill into the committee. The charge goes on the scouts account, and he pays up prior to the next campout. This way, I don't have to chase around a 13 year old for money. Should I donate it? Sometimes I do, but I hav
  17. Like others here, we had so many it was unkempt. I mailed the old ones to the parents of the scouts that had Eagled or aged out with a note to send on to their sons. They earned them!
  18. As another with short term amnesia, I appreciate name tags on others. I use mine often. The magnetic type is OK for meetings and roundtables, but when camping it's prone to get lost fast. I'm interested in the fabric name type. If it matched the size and font of the interpreter strip, that might be OK, too.
  19. It was stated that the complaints all came from 6th grade parents. On thinking about this, is sounds like the new adults have had a hard time making the transition from Cub/Webelos to Boy Scouts. The two programs are vastly different (as you know) on parental involvement. It may be too late in this instance, but when new scouts bridge up, that's the time to train the parents on the Aims and Methods of scouting, and what their boys will be doing, and how the parents can help in the background, or uniform up and help the CC and SM run a quality boy lead pat
  20. As a SM, I don't really understand the aversion to sheath knives. I decided long ago that this was not the hill I wanted to die on, so I live with the consensus decision. But what we (SM and Troop Committee) do ban is electronic devices and cell phones. They are a distraction. They cause strife in the troop and patrols. They lead to stratification and disharmony. They stifle conversation. I don't allow them in my truck when we travel. Others in our troop do, but the scouts in my truck speak to one another (and me) and have a good time. We had a parent s
  21. It sounds like the parents want to be in scouting! Too much leadership? Is that possible? Some of the jobs you list are most often committee member jobs (popcorn, summer camp enrollment). How were these jobs ceded to the scouts? They didn't always do these jobs, at some point they were given to the scouts. If it is working, let it go. Sounds like helicopter parents to me.
  22. Our former scoutmaster would do a patrol fruit basket turnover every 6 months. Nobody liked it, but it wasn't boy lead. When I was made SM, the first thing I did was give the boys one chance to reorganize, then I froze the patrols. We've gone on 4 years now, and the next will be the CHANGE point. I've decided that the new scout patrol will merge with the oldest patrol. It needs the influx of scouts; we've decided to stay at 3+1 patrols, and the +1 is the NSP, which we'll have again this year. So, we'll have one aged mixed patrol, but the nucleus of the NSP will still be there, with their
  23. While I agree that an Internet forum is no place for wussies, this is a Scouter forum. The points of the scout oath and law should guide everything said here. There is another (unnamed) boy scout forum that between the three know-it-alls that when they aren't fighting with themselves, they gang up on the unsuspecting new guy. Don't be like that. Please. I've been around a while, too: 3 rows of knots, WB and staffed, PTC, WFA, and on and on. I'm sure there are others with a low post count that are longer in the saddle than I. If we're going to profess to lead boys to become men of
  24. I agree, a fair price. One program should not be overcharged to make up for a shortfall in another. But to get there, each program has to pay for itself. Those that can't and need to be retained get the lions share of FOS money. It's sort of a tax on those that want to and have the means, get charged more to support others. What is discouraging about it is, it cuts out those that WANT TO but don't have the means. They are the ones that are getting hurt the most.
  25. Perhaps the membership application was handed out too soon. We invite parents and prospective scout to visit with us for a few weeks. We invite Webelos scouts and parents to camp with us, and we give them a copy of our parents guide. We spell out that we are a Christian based troop, and we act on and follow our faith. No one is turned away, as long as they will sign the Statement of Faith that is on the back side of the first page of the membership application. We are protestants. We have Methodists, Catholics, and a Jew in our membership. They all participate and pray when called on. Th
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