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christineka

S/o Camping Reuirements

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Tenderfoot requirement #9:  ""Explain the importance of the buddy system as it relates to your personal safety on outings and in your neighborhood. Describe what a bully is and how you should respond to one.""

 

Stosh:  Are you asking who the "bully" is in this case?  Or who the Scout's "buddy"  is? 

 

Christineka:  I am sure your Scout is aware of his desire to please  you and take care of his "business".   Our Scoutson was in 4H, and we home schooled from 7grade  thru HS graduation. Along the way, he won awards in science fairs,   went to Philmont twice, staffed a Jamboree, raised  30 plus rabbits, winning ribbons and paying his way.   And earning Eagle just before he was 18.... 

At age 21, he still has some contact with his Troop and we certainly are guilty of both reminding him of stuff and being proud of him.  Along the way, we also learned to back off and remind him that it's his Scouting, not ours. 

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Tenderfoot requirement #9:  ""Explain the importance of the buddy system as it relates to your personal safety on outings and in your neighborhood. Describe what a bully is and how you should respond to one.""

 

Stosh:  Are you asking who the "bully" is in this case?  Or who the Scout's "buddy"  is? 

 

The buddy system has been an integral part of scouting all along.  The bully junk is a recent addition that runs a bit counter to the leadership training of today's scouts.

 

The buddy system emphasizes the awareness of a scout to think about somebody besides himself.  Paper Eagles have no concept of this principle in scouting.  They are in scouting only for themselves and the buddy system requirement is never really met.   I'm sure most SM's pencil whip this requirement without ever understanding it's meaning down the road.  

 

So how does it play out in real life?  The PL that wears the patch for 6 months and doesn't give a hoot about his boys and does the management by delegation routine to insure it looks good to the adults.  I have seen this process in operation and the bully delegation is obvious.  The patrol members wouldn't follow these leaders unless they were forced to by the adults.  Effective management of tasks?  Yep.  Leadership?  Nope!  If my leader doesn't care about anyone but himself and doesn't really give a hoot about me, I'm not going to be following him anywhere,.... ever.

 

And it has nothing to do with the same age patrols.  I have seen boys stick with their NSP grouping all the way through Eagle and they ALL worked together as buddies to make it happen for everyone else in the group.  Yes I have seen it work only a couple of times, but those boys knew what TF-#9 was all about right from the beginning. 

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If you are near Salt Lake City your son is always welcome to join my troop either full-time or part-time.  We are an LDS group and meet must Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. We are just off the I-215 by the airport.  While we are not a perfect troop, we do have a camp out planned for every mouth.

 

As far as getting your troop to camp monthly I have had the best of luck pointing out that as a troop we only have two years to work with the scouts before they move on to the Varsity Team.  They need 20 nights with their troop and only one summer camp counts. That means 15 monthly campouts are needed.  Divided over the two years that is 8 and 7 monthly camp outs each year, leaving 3 and 4 mouths for options.  Knowing that not every Scout can attend every outing do to school, sports, and family conflicts; not to mention flaky leaders and weather; it is vital that LDS troops run year round camping programs so that the scouts even have the opportunity to complete the Camping merit badge in the two year window.   

 

 

On the LDS-BSA Relationships website there are two blog posts that might be of help you, they are:

 

Mac’s Message #1: Gaining a Vision of Scouting and the Aaronic Priesthood

Mac’s Message #42: How to Encourage Priesthood Leaders to Fully Embrace Scouting

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At the risk of pulling this thread off on a tangent...

 

Southpaw, you mention something that I have been a bit confused about. At a certain age (I guess it's 13 or 14), do ALL Boy Scouts in an LDS troop HAVE to move to a Varsity team? In other words, do LDS Boy Scout troops consist ONLY of boys below 13 or 14? And if you haven't been, for example, SPL by that birthday, you're never going to be? And you mention a two-year window, but doesn't the youth have the opportunity to continue to advance in the Varsity team? They have the same ranks as a Boy Scout troop, don't they? You'll have to excuse my ignorance, here in New Jersey I have "seen" one LDS troop in my life, and to my knowledge I have never "seen" a Varsity team. (I have seen Venture Patrols in non-LDS troops whose Scoutmasters have them incorrectly wearing the orange (or blaze or whatever it's called) shoulder loops that are supposed to be for Varsity, but that's a different story.)

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Son started talking about eagle tonight at dinner.  I asked him if he knew what he needed to do to earn it.  He said he did, but didn't know anything other than "earn a bunch of merit badges", so he looked up the requirements.  At least he has a better idea of what he's planning to do now.

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NJCubScouter the way it is supposed to work:

 

On the Scouts birthday they move to the next group.  At 11 they join the New Scouts, which is just an 11 year old age based patrol with the focus on Scout through First Class and they are allowed to go camping three times.   At 12 they move to the “regular†Boy Scout Troop.  At 14 they join the Varsity Team.  And at 16 they join the Venture Crew.  At 18 they move on to the adult side. There is some flexibility depending on resources and needs, but the norm is that an LDS Boy Scout Troop is made up of 12 and 13 year olds.

 

Yes, the Varsity still use the same rank structure, but they also have some of their own awards, and focus more on high adventure.  The big problem is that must LDS leaders do not know that.  As dysfunctional as many LDS troops are it tends to gets worse in the other programs.  It is possible for christineka’s son to go through his full scout career and not get enough nights for the Camping merit badge.

 

As I cannot control the other groups, I view it as, I have two years (my two year window) to give the kids the best Scout experience and as many opportunities as I can before they turn 14.  I have told the scouts that if they are not happy with how the Varsity program is being run, then they can hang out with us.  We have two older boys going to summer camp with us.

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[Picking my jaw up off of the floor]

 

So my *stalled* scout just sent me an email (yeah, sitting in his room, too lazy to come down and get breakfast), actually he copied me on it, which was sent to his eagle advisor. The attachment contained a completed Eagle proposal and draft plan, inclusive of a work plan that would make a PMP-certified adult blush with envy. Work starts next month. Go figure.

 

No prodding. No extortion. No nagging.

 

EDIT: Ok, who took my son? The kid who just entered the kitchen says he leaving to talk to Home Depot and Lowes about in-kind contribution of materials for his Eagle project. If anyone finds my actual son please let me know. He was last seen going to bed, indifferent to everything in the world, last night around 10:30pm. A reward is being offered.  :cool:

Edited by Bad Wolf
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@

 

Every now and then they'll throw you a curve, just to keep you honest.  :)  Congrats on doing nothing as a parent.  Keep up the good work and help him grow up right!  :)

  • Upvote 1

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NJCubScouter the way it is supposed to work:

 

On the Scouts birthday they move to the next group.  At 11 they join the New Scouts, which is just an 11 year old age based patrol with the focus on Scout through First Class and they are allowed to go camping three times.   At 12 they move to the “regular†Boy Scout Troop.  At 14 they join the Varsity Team.  And at 16 they join the Venture Crew.  At 18 they move on to the adult side. There is some flexibility depending on resources and needs, but the norm is that an LDS Boy Scout Troop is made up of 12 and 13 year olds.

Southpaw, thanks for the explanation. I knew it was something like that but I did not realize it was so "lockstep." I am sure there must be some reason for pushing the boys into a Team when (in my opinion) they are at the perfect age for exercising troop-wide leadership and really being able to instruct and guide the younger Scouts, but that reason is not, shall we say, immediately apparent to me. :) It is my understanding that the 11-year-old thing has something to do with the organization and beliefs of the church itself, so I won't go there.

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Southpaw, thanks for the explanation. I knew it was something like that but I did not realize it was so "lockstep." I am sure there must be some reason for pushing the boys into a Team when (in my opinion) they are at the perfect age for exercising troop-wide leadership and really being able to instruct and guide the younger Scouts, but that reason is not, shall we say, immediately apparent to me. :) It is my understanding that the 11-year-old thing has something to do with the organization and beliefs of the church itself, so I won't go there.

 

As far as I know, 11 year olds are kept separate because the are still primary age.  Primary is for kids 3-11.  At 12 they move on to young women's or young men's.  Primary aged kids aren't allowed to go on overnight campouts without a parent or relative.  Also, 11 year olds don't go to mutual night.  I really don't mind.  When they are 11 they have scouts every week.  Turn 12 and it's twice a month.  The other weeks are spent doing activities with the girls or working on their duty to God.  (Not sure if it actually has anything to do with the religious award.  I actually had to buy my son a Duty to God book, when it should have been given to him.)  

 

I had no idea that they were required to move up to a Varsity Team at 14.  I don't think the boys in my ward do.  There aren't very many of them.

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NJCubScouter the way it is supposed to work:

 

On the Scouts birthday they move to the next group.  At 11 they join the New Scouts, which is just an 11 year old age based patrol with the focus on Scout through First Class and they are allowed to go camping three times.   At 12 they move to the “regular†Boy Scout Troop.  At 14 they join the Varsity Team.  And at 16 they join the Venture Crew.  At 18 they move on to the adult side. There is some flexibility depending on resources and needs, but the norm is that an LDS Boy Scout Troop is made up of 12 and 13 year olds.

 

 

I had no idea about this, so I finally asked my husband, who went through lds scouts.  He confirmed that this is true.  When he turned 14, he changed his red epaulets for orange epaulets.  Everything else in his scouting, remained the same.  That is how it is in my son's troop as well, though there is only one, active 14 year old scout.  (The program is slowly improving, which meant they lost most boys that are older than 14.)  

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@@christineka

 

Let me give you a point of comparison.  My son is turning 13 at the end of August.  I remember that my wife took him to his first Cub Scouts meeting because I was on a business trip.  A couple of years later, i ended up as the Cubmaster.  My wife also took him to visit the Troop when he was a Webelo.  He decided to continue which was not a surprise -- he earned the Webelos High Achiver award and truly enjoyed Cubs Scouts.  He asked me to become an Assistant Scoutmaster and I did.

 

My son made First Class within a year.  It took a little prodding from me and his mom to get the final requirements done and I did spend a lot of time with him making sure he knew all of the requirements (knots, lashings, first aid, etc.) rather than just having them checked off.  He made Star a year later.

 

He has completed 14 merit badges (enough for Life and then three toward Eagle).  Nine of those badges were  done over three summers at camp, two were done with counselors with our troop other than me and three were done with me (Camping, Cooking and Family Life) as part of group meetings done with other scouts in our troop.  He will complete Backpacking (he just has to do one more 15 mile trek and a 30 mile trek) and Bicycling (has just a 10 mile ride and a 50 mile ride) in the fall.

 

He has camped out 47 nights in the 27 months since he become a Boy Scout (only 25 count toward Camping -- two were in rustic cabins, twelve were his second and third years at summer camp and seven were camping or backpaking with me).  He has hiked over 80 miles (including some hikes with 3,000 foot assents and some with serious rock scrambles) and backpacked over 50 miles.  At the end of the summer, he is doing a 50 miler backpacking trek over 6 days.  With our Troop's outdoor program, we camp pretty much every month and try to do as many two day campouts as possible.  I'm one of the ASM's who works with the boys to develop the program and we try to balance a lot of camping with high adventure (backpacking, canoeing, kayacking, challenging hikes, etc.).

 

This summer at camp, he was an assistant patrol leader.  He struggled somewhat in leading.  He is very much still a kid and is just mastering taking care of himself and it was a stretch for him to have to take care of others.  I was at camp the last half of the week and had a couple of discussions with him about service leadership (using Stosh's line about "taking care of your boys") and how exhausting it is to lead that way while taking care of yourself (NOTE:  I had a lot of discussions with other scouts on leadership and other issues -- I view my role as "Coach in Chief").  He is learning leadership -- I've seen how he has grown as a Den Chief over the past year.  Nonetheless, he still has a long way to go.  

 

My son is shooting to get Life by the end of next year (when he is finishing up 8th grade).  He is hoping to be an Assistant Patrol leader for his patrol when things start up again in September (he will still be a Den Chief so he wants to do that merely to lead and not as his POR).  He has said that he wants to wait a year before starting his Eagle Project because he feels that he could do a better project when he is older.  

 

After he made First Class, I took a step back and let him be responsible for his advancement.  I do work a lot with him on skills -- everything from knots, to fire building, to cooking, to planning trips and treks, to knife skills -- and coach him on leadership.  As a parent, we want to solve their problems - but the better solution is to work with them and teach them to solve their own problems.  Ultimately, to be a true Eagle, they need to own their advancement.  Both my wife and I have to consciously remind ourselves to back off when it comes to advancement.

Edited by Hedgehog

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As I was thinking about this topic, I realized that I didn't include my most important piece of advice that I have given my son.  I tell him that the rank of Eagle is not as important as the path he takes to get there.

 

On the path so far, he has learned to kayak, sail and ride a horse.  He has developed a love of archery and bicycling.  He looks forward to our troop's camping and backpacking adventures and looks back on the amazing things he has already done.  I see him sometimes help and teach the younger scouts about cooking on campouts.  That is just the beginning of his story.

 

To be an Eagle, I think he has to move from competency in the skills he has learned to mastery (primarily through practicing those skills and teaching those skills to younger scouts).  He also has to learn to lead.  If he follows HIS plan, he will have served as a Den Chief for three years (when he signed up for that job, he agreed to continue in that role until the Den crosses over), an Assistant Patrol Leader / Guide for one year (as a Star Scout), a Patrol Leader for one year (as a Life Scout) and possibly a Senior or Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for a year (still as a Life Scout) before earning Eagle at the beginning of 11th grade.

 

@@christineka -- Your son sounds like a great kid and I'd love to have him in our Troop.  You sound like a wonderful parent and I suspect that how great a kid your son is reflects on how you and your husband have raised him.  I think that Scouting can become something really transformative for your son if you encourage him to take control of his advancement.  Have a talk to him and ask him some questions:  What does being an Eagle Scout mean to him?  Why does he want to become an Eagle Scout?  What does leadership mean to him?  How can he be a leader in his Troop now and in the future?  What does he want the story to be about how he earned the rank of Eagle?  

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I had no idea about this, so I finally asked my husband, who went through lds scouts.  He confirmed that this is true.  When he turned 14, he changed his red epaulets for orange epaulets.  Everything else in his scouting, remained the same.  That is how it is in my son's troop as well, though there is only one, active 14 year old scout.  (The program is slowly improving, which meant they lost most boys that are older than 14.)  

This is a good example of why I think it's a farce.  The rigidity of this LDS unit makes it totally dysfunctional for the 14 year old.  Why not leave him in the troop, and get something out of the leadership opportunities.  It would help him, as well as the younger Scouts.  Pulling him out leaves the younger Scouts to flounder in a program which sounds more like older Webelos (no youth leadership).  He may as well be a Lone Scout.

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