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Liz

Scouting Adventure / AOL and COVID

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Help me out here. 

I'm trying to decide what direction to move in right now. We had to join a new Pack this year, and the people are super and they're great with kids, but organization was almost nil. 

I was pretty much immediately "volunteered" for CC, since the previous CC was nothing more than a signature on a piece of paper, which is totally fine with me, but I'm in a quandry right now. My daughter joined the Pack in January with her Webelos badge already earned and ready to start working on AOL. Most of the other kids in her Den had, at that point, earned between 0-1 pins towards their Webelos ranks. The den leaders are nice but don't seem to have much clue on advancement timelines. After consulting with me, we developed a timeline and a path to get the other kids caught up, with the hope that everyone would have their Webelos badge by June and they could all start working on AOL together. In February / early March, all the kids got their First Responder and a few things knocked out toward an elective, and it seemed like we were on our way. In the meantime, my daughter was in a holding pattern, which is fine; she has some learning challenges and repetition is good for her and she was having fun so I figured it was all good.

Then of course COVID hit. 

Our Pack has completely stopped functioning. Our summer camps were canceled. I tried to get some movement toward online meetings and getting families interested in continuing the Scouting Trail, but attendance was very low, and in terms of the other Webelos, non-existent. 

So we've been just doing stuff at home and plugging along. She's about 3/4 of the way through everything we can do that doesn't require her den to be involved, but I'm not quite sure how to handle Scouting Adventure. 

So, which way do I go? As CC, do I try to push my authority around and try to push on her den leaders to facilitate? Even if they do get a fire lit under them at all, the other kids have a LOT of catch up to do and I'm not sure they're going to want to spend time working on AOL when they haven't got their Webelos badges yet. Then again, maybe they'd like to just skip ahead and go for AOL. Am I correct in the way I read the requirements that earning Webelos rank is not actually required to earn the AOL anymore? 

Or do I just throw in the towel and, once she's done with the other requirements, get her involved in the Troop and let her do things like "Practice the patrol method" with them? Technically it says "with your den" in the book, but as the Cub Scout standard is "Do your best," this may just be the best we can do. 

You should have seen her trying to teach her little sister who is newly registered as a Lion Scout how to tie a bowline today. The requirement says "teach a Scout who is not a Webelos Scout" how to tie the knot; it doesn't say the learner has to become proficient. 🤣

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Liz said:

So, which way do I go? As CC, do I try to push my authority around and try to push on her den leaders to facilitate? Even if they do get a fire lit under them at all, the other kids have a LOT of catch up to do and I'm not sure they're going to want to spend time working on AOL when they haven't got their Webelos badges yet. Then again, maybe they'd like to just skip ahead and go for AOL. Am I correct in the way I read the requirements that earning Webelos rank is not actually required to earn the AOL anymore? 


If they are rising 5th graders (going in to the 5th grade this fall), then they can choose to stop working on Webelos and just move on to AOL.


It's difficult right now, but if you can get your den leaders to have some online meetings, then you should be able to meet the den requirements -- even if you can't meet in person.

Not sure if you've seen the BSA's COVID-19 FAQs or not, but:

Quote

Q: Can the Arrow of Light (fifth-grade dens) requirements fulfill the requirement to visit a troop or attend a troop outing to function as a patrol? 

Yes. Two things to keep in mind, the standard of completion for Cub Scout advancement is “Do Your Best,” so given the circumstances, we want to look at the purpose behind the requirements. Remember that doing nothing is never doing your best. 

Dens can visit a virtual troop meeting to see the patrol method and youth leadership in action. Since the den cannot attend a troop campout or outing, the idea is for the den to function as a patrol while attending the virtual troop meeting. During this time, a virtual den meeting where the den functions as a patrol can be done. Elect a patrol leader, pick a patrol name, play a virtual game together as a patrol. Plenty of opportunities to Do Your Best to meet the intention of the requirement. Remember to maintain all youth protection standards online.

 

Hope this helps some!

Edited by Thunderbird

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Thank you. That does help some. I'm not too worried about doing things virtually. My issue is getting the other members of her den to participate at all. They've all been entirely MIA since March, along with the den leaders.

I'll try to poke them into doing something. My fallback position will be to have her participate with the Troop she will be joining. 

I think I will recommend that the kids who have not yet earned Webelos Rank (all except mine) and aren't close (ditto), just go ahead and move on to the AOL requirements. 

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He's hosted a few online Zoom or Facebook things, but nobody shows up. 

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I’m a CC for our Town’s pack. We tried to do at home/zoom den and pack meetings. Parents didn’t log in. honestly some were Struggling with distance learning and stress. We did a couple NOVA offerings, 2 den leaders made up elective adventure kits and delivered to their den members.  Midway we sent a survey and parents responded just staying on top of the schooling was what they could handle - so i mailed out a listing of where their cub was toward rank and asked that they finish  up as they could and record in Scoutbook. 
 

After many many years of CC work I’ve learned what I may do at my house possibly won’t work for others. 
 

we dont force or flex our position of responsibility onto anyone unless its a safety Issue or YPT violation.  This way we have the family’s always feel welcome. 

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Yeah, I can't imagine how I could be pushy in an effective way. 

As a side note, are parents supposed to be able to enter stuff in Scoutbook? I have been unable to update my daughter's rank advancement in Scoutbook since her last Pack change (our old Pack ceased to exist). I was her den leader in the old Pack though, so I thought that was why. 

I'm the only one in our Pack who has ever logged into Scoutbook. A Scouter friend said the Cubmaster has to give me permission to update rank requirements; although as CC all the Scouts are showing as green dots (full control) for me so I'm not sure what's going on. I don't get an error, it just kicks me back to the main page when I try to see the rank advancement. 

I have no trouble updating advancement requirements for the members of the Troop where I'm on the committee. 

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8 hours ago, Liz said:

As a side note, are parents supposed to be able to enter stuff in Scoutbook? I have been unable to update my daughter's rank advancement in Scoutbook since her last Pack change (our old Pack ceased to exist). I was her den leader in the old Pack though, so I thought that was why. 

By default all parents have full control over there scouts in Scoutbook.  As a key 3 member, you should have full control over everyone in the pack.  I would recommend clearing your cache or logging in with incognito mode, and see if that helps.  If not, I would post that question on the Scoutbook forums page, one of the SAC folks may have a solution for you.  Also, as far as being part of the key 3, double check your positions under my.scouting.

While parents can enter things they have done with their scout at home, it must still be approved by a leader.  (As a side note, we tried to turn off full control for parents at the troop level, and were unable to do so.  That can then cause issues when parents are marking merit badge requirements as complete when they are not merit badge counselors.  We had that happen recently, when a scout was awarded a MB that is usually only done at summer camp, yet he did not attend this summer or last summer.  When I looked at him in Scoutbook, mom had marked off several requirements that were not completed 3 summers ago, and our advancement chair evidently did not look at it before awarding the MB.)

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I double checked my positions and I've got the little keys next to my name.

I've logged in from my phone, and two different browsers on my laptop to try it, so I don't think it can be a cache issue. I'll try the forums. Thanks. 

I probably won't encourage parents who aren't den leaders from using Scoutbook unless we have to. 

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Thank you for suggesting posting in the forums that solved it. 
 

Literally. I posted in the forum and the problem went away. After months of trying repeatedly, including again just yesterday before I finally started asking about it. 🤷‍♀️

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USPostal service letters (remember them?), email,  phone calls/tree,   cell phone texts,  Knock on door leave card in door.....   You try, you "do your best".  

When you are convinced the horse is dead, you quit beating it.  Schedule a last B&G picnic with magician and catered BBQ, spend the last of the Pack's treasury, transfer the remainder on to the CO,  and move on to ScoutsBSA.    

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1 hour ago, SSScout said:

USPostal service letters (remember them?), email,  phone calls/tree,   cell phone texts,  Knock on door leave card in door.....   You try, you "do your best".  

When you are convinced the horse is dead, you quit beating it.  Schedule a last B&G picnic with magician and catered BBQ, spend the last of the Pack's treasury, transfer the remainder on to the CO,  and move on to ScoutsBSA.    

My other daughter just signed up for Lion Scouts. I’m afraid I’m in this for the long haul. 
 

Actually, I like the Pack. It’s just that one den that is non-functional. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Liz said:

I’m afraid I’m in this for the long haul.

I wouldn't bet on it.  BSA may or may not survive the bankruptcy.  We just don't know.  Unit scouters who plug along everyday in this climate of uncertainty deserve a lot of credit for doing what they do.  I suppose we should hope for the best, but plan for the worst.  Be Prepared.

Edited by David CO

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I’m just going on the assumption that we will Scout On. If eventually that is without the BSA as we know it, I’m sure we’ll figure something out. 

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