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heat4212

Something to give in place of badge at graduation?

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But @@Stosh, it is hard to plan around all the stuff the boys are doing. It is easier to say they "tried" and just check the box, isn't it?

 

My biggest issue is that many folks wouldn't want to miss a soccer or baseball practice if it meant playing in the "big game", but they don't think twice about missing something important for a scout rank advancement.

 

Sick and they miss? Different story. Picks sports over Scouts, we know where the priorities lie.

 

Being a good baseball player makes them a good baseball player.

 

Being a good soccer player makes them a good soccer player.

 

Being a good Scout makes them a good person.

 

Why is this so difficult to understand?  So I'm biased?  Yep, the principles of servant leadership, character development, and maturity growth are all dynamics of Scouting I also apply to the work I do in the various church youth ministries and community youth activities I work with in the area.  Works for all youth of these developmental ages.

 

I'm 65 years old.  I gave up basketball many years ago.  I gave up football even before that.  About 25 years ago I finally gave up baseball/softball.....   I'm still camping.....  and kayaking....  and canoeing.  It's Memorial Day weekend and it's the "official" start of summer.   My tent, my kayak and my canoes have all gotten wet already this year.  :)  I've done 2 major road trips with my camper too, so I cheat a bit in my old age.  I'm still making it down the road.  Don't make home runs, baskets or touchdowns, but life is good.

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If the DL quit that's extenuating circumstances isn't it?

 

The debate about awarding something for nothing assumed an active DL and kids who missed a requirement.

 

If the DL left or quit then the Akela can step up and put something together. In such instances a little leeway is always possible.

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Being a good baseball player makes them a good baseball player.

 

Being a good soccer player makes them a good soccer player.

 

Being a good Scout makes them a good person.

 

Why is this so difficult to understand?  So I'm biased?  Yep, the principles of servant leadership, character development, and maturity growth are all dynamics of Scouting I also apply to the work I do in the various church youth ministries and community youth activities I work with in the area.  Works for all youth of these developmental ages.

 

I'm 65 years old.  I gave up basketball many years ago.  I gave up football even before that.  About 25 years ago I finally gave up baseball/softball.....   I'm still camping.....  and kayaking....  and canoeing.  It's Memorial Day weekend and it's the "official" start of summer.   My tent, my kayak and my canoes have all gotten wet already this year.  :)  I've done 2 major road trips with my camper too, so I cheat a bit in my old age.  I'm still making it down the road.  Don't make home runs, baskets or touchdowns, but life is good.

 

 

Just know your unyielding, inflexible advice is making me hate scouting. Which I was pretty close to hating anyway because few parents in our Pack pull their weight. So the unhelpful advice of out-of-touch 'experienced' scouters + lazy millennial parents who sign their kids up for everything then drop and run + BSA launching a new, untested, unbalanced program = 3 less scouts. 

 

Thanks for the fun. 

Edited by heat4212

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Yep, I have single moms with 2-3 kids besides the scout.  I have families that struggle from paycheck to the next.  I have boys that truly can't afford the uniform shirt.  Neither myself nor my ASM are from the neighborhood where these kids live.  But we go there and do what we can with whatever resources we can scrounge up because we care about the boys.  For many of them this effort might be the only opportunity they might get.

 

Don't hate the program because of the people.  

 

My wife and I are the only two people to step up and take on a brand new Venturing Crew that is a 45 minute drive so that those kids will have a chance because no one else stepped up.

 

I have no idea how many at-risk kids I helped stay out of trouble just because I took the time to show up.

 

Mrs. and I have worked with the Director of Education and it would seem that it's pretty much the three of us to be there for the entire youth program of a congregation (about 35 kids) we are not even members of.

 

If one is looking for an excuse to hate scouting, my advice is just as good as any other.

 

I'm not exactly "Out of touch" with what's happening in Cub Scouts at the present time with the new program.  I am NOT a WDL and there are no millennial parents that are stepping up and I have 9 boys that are working their butts off to get AOL and THEN not all of them are guaranteed to even join my Troop but I am doing the WDL thing right now to make sure the boys have a chance.  I'm not a Cub Leader.  It's not my job.  I don't have to be doing this.  I really don't like the new program anymore than the next guy.  I haven't been a Cub Leader for 25 years.  But I have 9 boys that really do appreciate what I'm doing.

 

As far as the fun goes, the program is designed for the boys to have fun.  If the adults have fun, that's all well and good.  But that's not what we signed on for.

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 I am a parent, not a den leader.

 

So step up?

 

If you have time to post on an internet message board, you have time to help your son cut some holes in a cardboard box (bean bag toss) and learn to tie simple balloon animals.  Invite your pack's Tiger den over for some hot dogs on the grill, throw some bean bags around the yard, tie a balloon dog or two, and call it an adventure.  It doesn't have to be Disney or Six-Flags (or even State Fair) quality carnival rides and clowns painting faces to "count", though extra points to you if you paint your son's and his friends faces with some Halloween makeup to look like clowns.

Edited by MrBob
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@@heat4212, I get your frustration that BSA did an overreach.

 

Correcting it, however, involves a little more than working around the one-size-fits-all mentality that sometimes spews from National. It's really not that tough on your boy for him not to get an award. When someone changes the rules on him, you either teach him to ignore the rules to suit his style, or turn down the award because he's accomplished his goals in ways the rules won't recognize. I'd be inclined to teach the latter, as a result my kids have grown to "work for smiles" in their volunteer efforts (and when they've been graded unfairly in school, and when work puts you in ethical dilemmas.)

 

And trust me, when BSA National realizes that Cubs are having fun but packs aren't buying awards because the requirements aren't flexible enough for how families actually do scouting, they'll change their tune.

Edited by qwazse

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I love reading what all of you guys have to say, because it is always interesting, but sometimes you really frustrate me.  If you go back and read through this whole thread, you give contradictory advice.  At one point I was ready to flame @@Stosh because he was chalking this all up to today's 'entitled' kids.  But in his latest post he talks about his experience with disadvantaged kids (which I knew from posts in other parts of this forum, and was why I had typed up a scathing reply to his earlier comment that I never posted).

 

My Pack serves three of the four most economically disadvantaged schools in our District.  The homeless shelter feeds into one of them.  The others aren't much better.  It's a chore to get boys to my den meetings, much less get kids from another den to our Den Meeting or to an event on a different day/night of the week.  Many single parents.  Many working multiple jobs.  Every year I have boys out collecting donations for Scouting for food, when I know full well that some of that food they collect might end up in their own stomachs.  I'm tearing up now typing this because I am so proud of some of my Pack's families... proud that they put forward their best effort to get their boys to Cub Scouts whenever possible despite the challenges their families face.

 

I'm also proud of our Den Leaders.  It isn't easy working with some of these boys.  Some boys come from situations that are quite possibly abusive or neglectful (if I could prove it, I would report it in a heartbeat, but from experience I know that Family Services won't take action on a hunch).  Their parents sign them up for Scouts because it's an hour a week they can dump off their parenting responsibilities on someone else.  These boys frequently act out, treating others in ways that they themselves are treated at home.  It's hard enough as a den leader to get all of the requirements of the new program to fit into weekly den meetings (our Pack's dens meet every week that the schools are open and available to us), much less to repeat each requirement two or three times.  But they ,do their best as Den Leaders, sometimes it just isn't enough.

 

@@qwazse - it seems like you are half saying "work around" the requirements, which contradicts the "you must complete everything" mentality that has pervaded this thread.  At the same time, you say "work for smiles" which is a great philosophy and something I use with my own kids, but honestly for some of the kids in my Pack getting that award is the only thing in life to give them a smile.  In fact, when our Pack handed out 'experienced' uniforms to some of these boys, the grins just for the shirt alone were ear to ear.

 

Let's face it, the new requirements are desperately in need of a good editor who understands Scouting, and not just from the perspective of uber-successful Packs with 50+ boys and catered Blue and Gold Banquets in the mostly white, middle to upper class, Bible-thumping South.  In some parts of our country we have weather, and that makes fulfilling the new requirements difficult if not downright impossible at times.  Some Packs, like mine, have socioeconomic challenges that make it hard if not impossible to complete the requirements as written.  Maybe the BSA thinks they are being clever with their "Do your best" clause, but clearly some in Scouting have a very strict interpretation of that which means that "Do your best" can't make up for the shortfall in creating/editing the new requirements.

 

@@heat4212 - trust me, there are some voices here who get it.  We are down in the trenches, working with all age levels of the new program, and have seen that while the new program has a lot of great things, it also has a lot of room for improvement.  Hopefully you won't be too discouraged... luckily it isn't up to them how you run your Pack, and the BSA has basically punted it to the Pack leadership on interpreting what "Do your best" means. 

 

By the way, if you think this thread is bad... stay away from Internet discussions on uniforming... those threads make me want to scream at the computer screen when people insist that the only correct uniform is the one with the official BSA socks, pants, shirt, neckerchief, hat, underwear, etc.  Thankfully I grew up in a blue collar, low to middle working class neighborhood, and my Scoutmaster and Troop realized that the important thing was the shirt (although some would argue that the important thing is the Neckerchief, and I can see that as well).  Working with the Pack and the schools I do, I will admit that as a Commissioner, District Committee member, and Cubmaster there were plenty of times where all I wore to our Pack meetings was the shirt (despite the fact that I own the whole uniform) - because I know that is all that some of the kids in my Pack have (and even that was loaned out to them by the Pack).  We try to find Neckerchiefs, belts, and even pants.  But in four years of scouring Craiglist, rummage sales, and thrift shops, I've seen exactly one pair of Cub Scout pants and two or three belts.  So we hand out shirts and hope that the parents can afford a Neckerchief, but understand if they can't since that's a $10-$20 annual expense that might be more than they can handle given their family circumstances.

 

To all of the esteemed Boy Scout leaders chiming in here... again... I love hanging out with all of you, but sometimes you guys really test my adherence to the Scout Law.  :D  I'm generally a pretty courteous and friendly guy, but it's a good thing you can't hear what I yell at the computer screen when I read some of your replies.  But please, keep them coming because I like a debate, but I think we've beat this horse to death and there isn't much more to say on this topic that hasn't been well argued by both sides.

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Here is what kills me with all of this. People read the black and white and think there is no other way to get it done. Take the carnival for instance. Part of the Cubmaster information suggests something along the lines of "Allow your Bear den to put on their Carnival" for a certain pack meeting. I knew about it in advanced and asked our Bear DL multiple times if they were ready. Then I just let the DL host the carnival at her house (because she asked to do it that way) in her back yard and the younger scouts who could attend did. In fact some of the participants were younger siblings. A carnival can occur at any time, any place. Although it says to have the kids lead the event. The leaders still lead it, so it can be whenever/wherever you need/want it to be to accomplish the point of the adventure. The point of the adventure is to allow the Scouts an opportunity to lead other Scouts in something. BSA uses the carnival as an "easy" thing to start the Scouts down that path.

 

IMO we all have lessoned learned on this and know now that the Bear program must work on doing the carnival early and plan on another one (just in case someone cannot make the first one).

Edited by David14

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"...

 

@@qwazse - it seems like you are half saying "work around" the requirements, which contradicts the "you must complete everything" mentality that has pervaded this thread.  At the same time, you say "work for smiles" which is a great philosophy and something I use with my own kids, but honestly for some of the kids in my Pack getting that award is the only thing in life to give them a smile.  In fact, when our Pack handed out 'experienced' uniforms to some of these boys, the grins just for the shirt alone were ear to ear.

 ...

We have a lot of class variation in our units too. My kids, it was by the book or not at all. But it was also clear that was the rule I applied to them, and we all could dole out grace to other youth. For other kids, I might flex a little depending on where they were coming from. If the requirements aren't serving the youth who, keeping with this example, might be setting up a carnival with some boxes and a cheap football for the kids on their street after school, but mom is pulling double shifts that month and dad's nowhere to be found and Grandma can't drive at night to the pack meeting, then I will not make any bones about flexing the requirement for those youth. Other youth who just decided to add basketball and baseball to their schedule and are just fitting scouting in in the side ... I figure those are the ones who need to flex for the program.

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