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John-in-KC

Dumbest District Task

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I was advancement coordinator for my Troop a few years back, when National rolled out internet recharter. Do my work, build my packet, SM/CC/I spend an evening at the Mexican restaurant/watering hole making sure the info is right.

 

Submit. Done. Signatures, check, give it to Membership Chair at RT.

 

One of the neat things about internet recharter is it lists, by name, youth who have dropped Scouting.

 

About 3 weeks later, my sorry excuse for a UC calls and asks "Why didn't you do the lost boy report?"

 

HUH? (polite conversation version).

 

"That's the by-name report to ask every kid why they dropped. You have to do it."

 

Called SM and CC. We all agreed, the packet had the names.

 

I called the UC back, said "it's on page X of our recharter."

 

"That's not good enough."

 

Too bad, that's what you're getting. You want to ask why, you can do it.

 

(As it happens, two had moved out, one had aged out, and one was football/wrestling combination.)

 

Called the DC. Asked him about this. He said it was the UC's job to do the legwork.

 

So... what have you had to do for District or Council "because it has to be done" recently??

 

 

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I don't know why it would be dumb to know why boys quit a troop. In addition, it might be useful to know why boys stay in Scouting.

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It should be done by the UC, District Commissioner, or someone from the membership committee. The reason being if there was some type of conflict (personality, situations, etc), the boy and/or his parents might be more willing to give this info to a Scouter not directly associated with the unit. Not always the case.

 

But in most cases, it comes down to lost interest in favor of something else, like sports, school, driving, and/or girls.

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In this day and age, a stranger shouldn't be calling a former Scout, or his parents, to ask questions of/about the Scout.

 

It might be nice to think that it couldn't do any harm, but in an era where parenting by helicoptering is common, its just not worth the risk of having an irate parent call the police.

 

If, while going through the recharter process, the unit can fill out the "lost boy" report with information they may already know, then perhaps we can remember that a Scout is Courteous and we fill that out. If we can't fill it out completely, then perhaps we should remember that a Scout is Courteous and that a Scout does one's best, and we don't make an issue out of it not being fully filled out.

 

Calico

 

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I would be extremely surprised if you had to call a scout or his parents to determine the reason they dropped out.

 

As an active Assistant Scoutmaster I know the reasons that most of our scouts dropped out. If I don't personally know the reason I know other parents in the troop who will be friends with the scout's family and will know why they left scouting.

 

To me it's something that is very important to know. If a boy dropped out because of sports then at least you know you can follow up. If he dropped out because he was bored you know that something needs to be changed in your program. Every boy that drops out has a reason that we should want to know about.

 

If I was the UC I would also want to know why boys are dropping out of the units I'm assigned and at the rate that boys are dropping out. If a lot of boys are dropping out that should be red flag that the unit has some issues that need to be addressed immeditaly. If a few boys drop out each year I might be able to see a pattern that I can help the Scoutmaster work on.

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If a boy quit because of "sports", how does one know that he didn't really quit because the troop program was boring, and "sports" because the better option?

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Many times sports is pitched as the child's key to the future. "You'll get a scholarship!" So he wants to continue with sports. The reality is that very, very athletes get scholarships.

 

Unfortunately, sports has changed since the time of my youth.

 

Back in the day, you played for your school or you played AAU or American Legion ball but the seasons were well defined. Now, other than football, most sports play year round. Trying to play a sport and stay involved in scouting can be daunting, if not impossible.

 

Most SMs don't have a problem if a Scout says, "I can't go on the campout because I have a game." However, how many coaches are understanding when as player says, "I have to miss the game because I have a Scouting committment." More than likely, the coach will mock the boy for being in Scouts.

 

It can be done. My son's troop had an Eagle who was a varsit soccer player, varsity track, Civil Air Patrol, jazz band, concert band and an honors student. He wound up at a service academy.

 

I went to Philmont with a group of Scouts that included varsity football, baseball, baskeball, soccer, and track athletes.

 

It can be done.

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Back in the day....

 

Even though I thought I was little league's Ron Santo, I seemed to ride the pines for the first three innings and then sub for the last three in right field, getting to bat at least once a game. I can still name those '69 Cubbies...Sweet Swingin' Billy Williams in left, Don Young in center, Jimmy Hickman in right, Santo, Kessinger, Beckert, and Mr. Cub Ernie Banks around the horn, Randy Hundley catching and maybe Fergie Jenkins on the mound.

 

It had to be around age 12-13, 6th or 7th grade. I was riding the pine during the first playoff game. The winners went to the championship game. Our pitcher that day pitched the first three innings and we were up 5-4 when he hurt his arm. Big conference on the mound. Our catcher just happened to be my neighbor, who I played a million hours of catch with, who would want me to pitch to him, to practice his catching. So, he told the coach that I could pitch. Him? Are you sure? Coach didn't know me, and his son for some reason didn't then, and never has been a pal of mine. Well desperate times, call for desperate measures, they didn't have anyone else. Whoa cool. This beats the snot out of three innings subbing in right field. I can remember the smirks on the other team's smug little faces today, to them victory was a certainty.

 

One of the changes that happenned that summer, was that I could throw a curve before the kids learned to hit them. My neighbor Mark says, "Just like at home, inside, outside, inside and keep it low." "Yep". He didn't use any signals, just placed his target where he wanted it, inside or outside and low. All the chatter was a little unnerving. Bah. It wasn't that unnerving. First pitch was to one of my classmates, who went on to play all through high school and a life-long pal. He was smirking. It was low and inside right on target and made a nice pop. Strike one. Mark set up outside, swing and a miss for strike two. I threw the first real curve ball in a real game. Big fat slow can of corn. It started out right at the batter, he squatted and bailed out as the bender broke right over the plate for a called third strike. The smirks were disappearing.

 

We did the inside-outside thing for three innings of no-hit ball. The other highlight of my young, not-so-long career was another one of my pals, who went on to play baseball in college, was on first. He beat out an infield hit. He took his lead off and when I took a peek, he was daydreaming. Whap. I picked him off first. It wasn't even close, no arguments, nothing, he was nailed. He just looked at me when he jogged by.

 

We won the game and our team moved on to the championship game. Coach announced that I would be pitching. I said, "Coach I have Scout Camp next week." He asked, "Can you skip it?" I said, "No, I'm the SPL." My ASPL was on the team too. He said, Remember we told you?" I still don't think he remembered us telling him. I don't recall anyone saying another thing about it. Nobodys parent's or the coach called my mom, begging her to make me play ball. I went to camp. So, there was at least one kid in the history of scouting who skipped a ball game for summer camp. Me. Let's see 1974 was how long ago?

 

My troop went to our council camp every summer. We looked forward to it, competed to earn the model campsite award, we lashed anything that could be latched. We put up a balanced weighted pole gate at our entrance, was the highlight of summer. Went their 6 years in a row, we didn't know or care that we could go to other camps, we looked forward to going to ours.

 

 

 

 

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I remember Ron Santo clicking his heels after a home victory while jogging into the Wrigley Field Cub Clubhouse with Jack Brickhouse crowing, I also remember that line-up, except I would have said a battery of Holtzman and Hundley.

 

I also remember them as the biggest choke-artists of all time

 

Its been a hundred years since a Cubs World Series win, that other team in Chicago swept the series 2 years ago

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Yeh. I remember those Cubbies too. As a young lad growing up in NJ in the summer of '69 I remember Cubs fans chanting "Ho, ho, ho Ten in a row." As the Mets came into town some 8-10 games back at that point after they had set a club record for consecutive wins. Well we all know how that summer worked out. :)

 

Yeh and I know how last summer worked out for the Mets too. :(

 

SA

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There's another team in Chicago? Hmmmm.(This message has been edited by Argyle)

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yes, another team in town and I dont mean the Bears, Bulls,or Blackhawks neither. Actually, I would have thought you were a fan since your name is a sox

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