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ItsBrian

Do Your Scouts Use The Handbook Logs?

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By handbook logs I mean service, hiking, and campimg log.

We basically spent the whole meeting this week on filling it in for the whole scouts. I know it’ll benefit them in the long run when they start the camping merit badge. I never filled it in (there was a different SM when I joined), and ended up never doing it.

Does your Troop encourage scouts to fill it in?

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Yes, its the first page I turn to when I do a scout master conference.Its not mandatory but its good for them to do so. 

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Yes.  We expect them to fill it in to keep up with camping nights and service hours.

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We do but not consistently. We appear to leave it up to the scout (good practice but results in a higher fail rate). I reviewed my son's a few weeks ago and he was missing many camping nights. The troop does not have their own master list so the only authoritative reference is their log.

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I've been thinking of using the logs. We track a lot - service hours, camping nights, paddling miles, hiking miles, backpacking miles, etc., on Troop Web Host. My idea to is bring to the PLC (again) is to start holding the scouts accountable for record keeping, even if it is just a duplicate record. 

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We also "kinda sorta" keep track of it online.  But it's never really worked well.  Especially when scouts only partially participate in something (like if they come to a campout on Saturday due a Friday evening conflict, or can only participate for 3 hours of a 6-hour service project).  Plus, some younger scouts are not online (i.e, don't have parent's permission to be online) so using an online tool doesn't work for them.

Having something accessible for each scout really makes them the responsible ones for keeping track of stuff.

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18 hours ago, ItsBrian said:

By handbook logs I mean service, hiking, and campimg log.

We basically spent the whole meeting this week on filling it in for the whole scouts. I know it’ll benefit them in the long run when they start the camping merit badge. I never filled it in (there was a different SM when I joined), and ended up never doing it.

Does your Troop encourage scouts to fill it in?

We encourage it.  Probably 50% use it.  

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I was extremely pleased to have six Scouts bring me their handbook this evening and ask to have things "signed off." Their challenge seems to be remembering to document the Service, Camping, and Hiking Logs more than the rank requirements. They're usually all over those.

My challenge is slowly changing the culture from Scoutmaster sign-offs to PL sign-offs.

Baby steps...

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The logs are a tool, not a requirement.  Useful if the scout wants to use it.  If they want to use it, great.  If they can't remember, it's a great place to start listing what they've done.  If not listed, then it's just a friendly conversation seeing if they have fulfilled the requirement.   

It's the camping and service that is required.  Not the log.  I like to think of it as keep the positive focus on the activities, not the paperwork. 

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Posted (edited)

I encourage the scouts to fill them in. Not so much for advancement as remembrance.  After a few years campouts like everything else begin to blur in the memory. 

At eagle courts of honor,  it's worth a paycheck to listen to the "old" scouts 17-22 years old who have come to honor their friend, sit and laugh as they recount their days as tenderfeet.  

"Remember the time the tarp fell over... in the rain...  and then the raccoons ate all the poptarts...and the SPL ...well it wasn't my fault ..." and on and on.

Now that I'm near the other end of the trail, I dearly wish my old battered scout handbook had a spot for my scouting  history .

Edited by Oldscout448
  • Upvote 1

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It was never really a troop thing, but my older son used to keep track of it, but he soon ran out of room in the camping log.  When he got his new book, he didn't really update it.  The troop now keeps track of it in Scoutbook.com - attached is part of my son's log.

 

 

CampingLog.png

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