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New SM and have concern with campwide games

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Most of our fellow Scouters have advised that its up to the Scouts and the PLC.


I also concur.


We have nearly as many ASMs as PLs attend the PLC. We do ask the SPL if we may speak at the PLC.


Just like adults at a Committee meeting, The PLC comes up with some outstanding ideas which we pursue. They also come up with some lame-brained or hugely overwhelming or extremely dangerous ideas.


It may be on the spot during a PLC. But we usually bring up the pro's and con's, and pitch it too them again. Sometimes our PLC does not see the danger in an event.


Similarly. Participating and winning the TAE would be fun. Playing cards would also be fun. I can imagine the laughter, with boys hyped up on bug juice or soda.


But... Can these same Scouts play UNO during any other troop campout? Can they play cards after school in the city recreation hall? Can they play cards at their Patrol Leaders house? The probably have many opportunities to play cards.


Can they earn the TAE when they return home? Or any other time of the year? Probably not.


I would recommend to re-attack, or Ready, Aim, Fire during a PLC to confirm this is what they want.


With regards to the parents and adult leaders... On various Summer camp seasons over the years, I myself have both staffed Summer Camps (before my sons arrived and after they left). And I have also stood in the parking lot, thanking the Scoutmaster and fellow ASMs for taking my sons, while I worked my normal job thru that week.


Regardless what these forums may say about Summer Camps and "Merit Badge Mills". As a parent, I hoped that my sons got the full experience of earning every recognition at summer camp.


Although, realistically, I wanted my sons to learn camping and teamwork skills, and at least attend all their merit badge sessions and earned all their registered merit badges.


A TAE streamer or TAE trophy would be nice to bring home, however I would expect your adult leaders and parents would be more concerned about their son's/Scout's merit badges and advancements.


Finally. I would recommend working with your PLC, ASMs, and Troop Committee to create a vision and succesful plan. If the parents are unhappy, they can either speak to the Troop Committee Chair or submit their own adult leader application.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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I have seen complaints on this message board that todays Scouts want to do is sit around and play video games (or cards) and get out be active.


I have seen complaints on this message board that todays Scouts dont know the basic scout skills.


I have seen complaints on this message board that todays Scouts dont know team work and exhibit any leadership skills.


I have seen complaints on this message board that todays Scouts do not have pride in the Troops anymore.


If I remember right camp wide games usually require teamwork and leadership, utilize basic scout skills and get the Scouts from sitting around (playing cards or Video games) and out doing something.

Winning the TAE builds pride in their unit.


Is it always OK to do something just because the PLC decided to do it?


In working with youth, even the older teens, they often dont see the big picture on why activities are done or why the BSA does things a certain way.


Maybe the old SM had a bigger picture (or different vision) in mind.


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I would say that the boys need to decide their own program. Since they've been pushed by their former Scoutmaster to earn the award, maybe it would be nice to take a break.


I will go against the grain, though, and suggest that you say "no" to sitting around the campsite playing Uno. There is a time for this at camp, but they should be involved in Scout activities of their own choosing. We had the same situation in my troop, and I met them half-way. I explained to them how they did not have to earn the Baden-Powell award if they didn't want to, but that hanging out around the campsite was not an option. They were free to choose from any of the camp programs that they liked, and they ended up selecting a canoe trip and had a blast. We had lots of time for good fellowship around the fire and earned a couple of merit badges in the process.


Just my two cents.

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  • 2 months later...

Here is a simple way to think about it: It is summer camp they should be doing summercamp stuff, if they want to play Uno all day then they should stay at home and play it there and not pay the $200. A way you can encourage the games is by limiting what can be brought up to camp. As being on all sides: a leader, scout, and staff within the last 8 years. I feel that camp is a great experience and that scouts should participate in all of it that they can. Personally in our troop it always ends up that the camp wide games end up on the night of our high adventure overnight so it is the younger kids that participate in it and it is great. If you have a challange or different opinion please respond as I have more I could say but dont think it needs to.

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  • 2 months later...

Also it is beneficial for the boys to make a decision and see the consequences of it.


If they decide to forego the TAE, it will be the first year they didn't earn it in a long time. Sure, their choice. I recall making a similar decision once when I backed out of something because I wasn't confident enough to try. I made sure that never happened again.


I like to give the boys as much rope as possible, help them see the parameters involved, and see what they do. If it is in keeping with scouting basics and doesn't harm them, they will grow in the process.


Examples: Many of our boys wanted to forego a section of a Summer Camp class. In one case I assented and said it would be ok for them to stay behind, explaining that we will easily cover that requirement in our regular troop activities and it would give them free time for the waterfront. A third of the scouts elected to go anyway. For another, I told them that requirement is hard to cover otherwise and that they really should go. They all went. The parameters for decision making can be key. In the end it is their achievements, even though it reflects on the SM. If the scouts take responsiblity for their own decisions it is a big step to becoming a young man and valuable community leader.

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