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I have been sitting here trying to decide if I should write this or not. I am writing it in hopes that another person can use this forum as a great tool and will stay and learn. I have been involved in scouting for 7 years, I am on my 2 group of WEBELOS as well as Scoutmaster for a new troop I started last year. This new troop was composed of my first group of WEBELOS that had crossed over, became bored and dropped out of Scouting. My son was also talking about quitting when I asked if he would give it a try in a new troop, my troop was born. I have very little experience with a troop but poured through the books (training in my area has been very tough to come by.) My troop is less than ideal, I am having trouble with the boys advancing, I am the committee with the exception of a treasurer, my last parent meeting consisted of myself and my wife. As you can see I have problems but I will not give up, I somehow managed to double in size last week and it seems I now have parents willing to help. Like all that use this forum, I am passionate about scouting. I feel that scouting offers more than any other program around. When I first stumbled on this forum you have no idea how glad I was. Even after digesting the first few posts I gained a lot of knowledge, and then it happened, I read on. I remember telling a person in our committee a few years ago, if there is going to be a problem with the pack, the source will more than likely be the parents, not the boys. It seems, in my eyes anyway, that adults have pretty much screwed up this forum.......again, in my eyes. Tonight I picked two posts, one on tobacco and the other on patrol size. After reading through these my stomach churned with the personal attacks and the thought that everyone else is wrong and my way is the only way. What made it worse was the fact it never ended, there were continual digs on the other people posting. One person in particular was defended by another saying he is never wrong, he is always right in his posts, he knows everything. Does it matter? If someone is abrasive as this do you really want to listen to them, not wanting to post because you fear an attack? How can I truly listen to advice by somone who has apparently never followed the scout law or scout oath? It is fine to disagree but not to belittle others because their opinion differs. Again, sorry to post this but it is in hopes these few people won't run off another who seeks advice and wants to be part of a group of people sharing something they love. Now, can someone point me to a forum I can learn and adults act as they should?

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Sorry to hear you leaving.


This forum isn't perfect, Scouting isn't perfect. As with real life Everyone is unique. You have to take the good with the bad. I think I've learned something about Scouting from just about everybody out here.


Some things in this forum gets my goat, but I don't let it get to me.


I ignore the horse hockey, weed out the unimportant stuff, and digest the important stuff.


Just my thoughts and opinions, You can use them or throw them away, no harm no foul, that's what makes America great.

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Looking over the threads listed today I don't see any that deal with Patrol size or tobacco.

I know that smoking and tobacco use comes up a lot and the thread about Patrol size was several months ago.

The Forum changes and has changed and will continue to change. There are have been periods of calm along with times when Threads have been closed and feelings have been hurt. The outcome from one of these episodes where things got out of hand was that OGE and Hops became moderates. I happen to think that they were a wise choice and that they do a good job.

If you have looked at a couple of old threads and are judging the Forum by what went on then, you are making a big mistake. Hopefully we as Scouter's do dwell in a optimistic present and future and do not allow ourselves to dwell in a less than perfect past. We do this when we deal with our youth members. Sure Scouts make mistakes and at times make bad choices. We move on, looking for better days.

My favorite is when people tell me that a unit always does or doesn't do something. This statement is normally based on something that happened eons ago, when the unit had different leaders and different youth members.

Many years back when I restarted the troop that I had been in as a youth, the first few boys that joined were a group that had been and for a while continued to be in all sorts of trouble. At the time some of my friends teased me that I had a prison gang!! Over time these Lads settled down and while we always seemed to have a little more than our fair share of Lads who seemed to have a knack of getting caught doing dumb and stupid things, as the troop grew they didn't stick out as much. If someone were to have judged the troop in them early days, I feel sure the report would not have been that great.

You are of course free to come and go as you like. If you go? I have no idea what turn the Forum will take. If you stay? You might be the guy that somehow, someway keeps the pot from at times boiling over.


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Sorry to see you go. It seems that if more people with useful ideas and opinions decide to run away from the problem rather than to be part of the solution, nothing will ever get better.


I see the same thing with so many that see a bad Pack and instantly start looking for a new one. Sometimes that is the only remaining answer, but it should never be the first or even second solution.


If you are personally offended by certain posters, I think you can exclude them. I just skip over that stuff and look for things I can either use myself or that I feel I can contribute to help others.


Those of us who have less experience with Scouting really need a variety of opinions. Please don't take yours away because of the actions of some.

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I'm sorry you were turned off by some of the ramblings and rumblings on this forum. Unfortunately, we're all people and deal with human shortfallings. I've visited many scouting forums, and this is the best one I've found by far. Fortunately, you were looking at some old posts, and most of the troublemakers you found have gone the way of the dodo bird. Most of the conversation here is respectible and insightful. That is, if you avoid the politics section.

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Actually this is the nicest forum I post on. The people are more curtious and polite on this forum than on the running and backpacking forums I also post on. I typically stay out of the issues and politics thread because the issues are so devisive and the threads take on a no holds barred approach.


I am so much more knowledgable about scouting because I come here. I recently took Wood Badge. I am just a Bear den leader and no one presently in my pack has taken wood badge. I also assume that many of our den leaders don't even know about wood badge. While at Wood Badge I was asked how I heard of Wood badge. Well On-line from the good'ol people over at scouter.com.


Every day I log on sometimes two-three times just to see what I can learn about scouting and youths that day.


Don't leave. I can't wait until you teach me something about scouting. Oops you alrady have.



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t487, WELCOME, and thanks for the post.




It saddens me. Though, I guess I'm not surprised; I've been half done with similar posts before hitting the delete button. And, . . . probably . . ., I've caused a few readers to consider posts like yours -- though, I hope not too many!!!


Scouting is filled with hundreds of thousands of volunteers. We all have good days and bad days. We have topics to which we're so emotionally attached we lose our tolerance, and sometimes, our Kindness. But those moments are rare, given the number of Scouters. Rare, even if we're only counting posters on this forum; the bad apples are few and far between.


Even the rough moments are almost familial. Some of the most angst-filled posts come in pairs - you don't see one name unless he's responding to a specific other poster - like brothers who have to share a bed they've outgrown!


One of my favorite parts of my Scouting experience is coming to this electric campfire and sharing - the good, and the bad. I've learned more by giving and taking here, than anywhere else in my Scouting adventure. I think there's still more for all of us to learn, and all of us to teach.


Your post hammers too broadly, when it hits the forum as a whole. I understand the feelings behind it, because I'm too much of a sledge hammerer, myself. Why not use a smaller, more pointed tool and hit the targets at which you're aiming? When I step over your line, send me a PM or even publicly let me know I've gone too far. I'll listen (as I think will most of the readers and posters), and perhaps, I'll even learn. But, this recent post is so broad, most of us will ignore it, or feel unecessary guilt. Neither of which is appropriate or helpful. Worse, the posters you want to reach won't see that it's aimed for them.


There are other Scout forums out there, but I haven't found any I like better.


Even fools have lessons to teach.


I wish you well, and I wish you'd stay.





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By participating in this forum you are learning exactly how both boys and adults behave. It is valuable.

I laugh sometimes at many posts, others I cringe at.

The big picture is to get a Boy run troop, and the adults to follow rules as printed, nothing more, nothing less.


We need to keep in mind that these are boys (scouts) between the age of 11 and 18. In that 7 year period alot happens. Step back and be gald that you can be part of it.

I admire your spirit by going out and starting a new troop from zero. It is a real challenge.

As you will have read many times, trained adults at the ASM level and Committee,are very important for any one person to avoid burn out. Then as a group (not singular)march to toward the goal of a boy run troop.

Keep asking others to do thier part. Hold them accountable. Afterall, many adults involved in today's program where not scouts, or ever had leadership training. There is much for adults to learn from scouting about leadership and being responsible.


As a former Merchant Mariner, the first thing they teach you is the phrase " One hand". Which means a call for help. They only ask for one, as you need to hold on to the ship with the other. If you use both to help another, you could slip off, putting yourself in harms way, and be of no service, and the crisis is still at hand.

Scouting is group activity, open to all. Some of those who join you may not care for personally, but then you should also look into the mirror.

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Hmmm... to me this is a learning and training ground for dealing with scouts and scouters. Since you indicated that have a small troop and not a lot of volunteers, you have not really dealt with the volunteering world. I view that this forum provides that real world background. As everyone pointed out, you will learn to put on a set of filters and choose what and whom to read. That is the best thing about this forum! Now, I can't do the same in our Pack and Troop. I have to find the politically correct way of dealing with the parents who want to help and who want to just be there with their sons.


Think of it as a dim sum a-la-cart dishes ... you just pick out your favorite dish and devour it. No one is going to force you to swallow what you don't like and didn't pay for and even if you paid for it, you can throw it away. That's why I don't frequent Issues & Politics forum. When one takes this forum too seriously as in getting upset or intentionally provokes someone else, then one needs to stop and rereads the Scout Oath and Law.


... as a Tiger Cub ... learn, discover, and share!






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Thanks for the words of encouragement. It seems I should have waited before posting the last message. I have read some of the recent posts and have not found the content that I mentioned. It is not that I was offended or running, unfortunately I have very little time in the day. I thought this was a great place to post questions and read other posts to learn and thought it sad to have to wade through each post to find some worthwhile information. I do believe that everyone is and should be entitled to their opinion and we can learn from each other even in disagreement. It was the slamming of people that I didn't like and again I just happened to stumble on a few old posts and assumed the majority of the forum was like this. Sorry for my assumption!

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Gosh, I guess it was good that the web posting was screwed up for a bit...cause I was gonna 'post' you one for banging on my friends! Yes, sometimes we all forget ourselves in the 'heat of battle'...and one of the short comings of internet posting vs. face to face is; when face to face debate takes place, if/when you 'step on toes' you can see visible signals and rapidly 'better' explain your position (hopefully letting the other 'side' know that its not being said as a personal attack). In the world of the net that realization of 'injury' is usually much farther along in the discussion and the 'perceived damage to someones honor' thusly greater and more personal.

Another short coming is more personal...when you post you must be able to 'handle' advise and comments that you may not want to hear...


Like in your original post...I might point out that even thought you said you were the 'SM and the committee'...I would reply...'can't be... The BSA organizational book says so'...nothing personal, but not what you want to hear, I'll bet...Your CO is letting you down (?) who is the CO? In any case you are operating outside of BSA regs...Passionate or not about Scouting you are breaking the rules...I say this not to make you mad...though it may do that but to spur you on to solve the proble quickly...so is that wrong?


That said...and Scouting Ideals aside...we sorta need to keep in mind the old school yard chant...'sticks and stones'...words only hurt if we let them, if we are so insecure in our sense of self that we let others comments on our ideas bother or hurt...but then what do I know...maybe I'm just one of those fools jd talks about.

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Hi Anarchist, I really wasn't bashing on everyone, I was just frustrated after reading the "patrol size" post and should have just left it alone. I do find a lot of knowledge on this board and respect all that you and others do for the boys and to help people out. The comments I made were not for people posting in disagreement but rather not respecting each other. If you were to revisit the "patrol size" post I am sure you would agree with what I was talking about. My mistake was just taking a sampling of a few posts and they were the same, I went no further. Now that I have been reading the recent posts I am embarrassed I posted this and wish it would go away.


You wrote:

>>Like in your original post...I might point out that even thought you said you were the 'SM and the committee'...I would reply...'can't be... The BSA organizational book says so'...nothing personal, but not what you want to hear, I'll bet...Your CO is letting you down (?) who is the CO? In any case you are operating outside of BSA regs...Passionate or not about Scouting you are breaking the rules...I say this not to make you mad...though it may do that but to spur you on to solve the proble quickly...so is that wrong?

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Let's start here. This reflects a problem I've seen in a lot of units over a long period of time and usually results in a dead unit after a while . . .


"Yes I have a committee on paper, I have my CR, CC, etc but they are always too busy to take care of anything. My CO is a school PTO, I knew going in that I would not be able to depend on them for anything." t487Scouter


It sounds to me like you pick up the ball when it gets dropped. This starts out innocently enough, but sooner or later, people come to expect that you'll pick up the ball.


I think the better answer is to "pester" (I can't think of a better way to say it) the CR into doing the job or resigning. Same with the CC. Ask them when they want to hold the next committee meeting. Then remind them a week prior to it. No matter what excuse they use, reschedule, conflict, cancel, etc. do not offer to run the meeting for them. This will lead to the abdication of the responsibility, if not the title.


If they know that their job is to do X and that X is important . . . but if they don't do it, you will . . . guess what? They'll probably let you do it.


You may be falling victim to the syndrome. I suggest you turn the table a little at a time. In other words, let them know that X is their job, X is important, and you're not going to do it.


I'm not suggesting you let the troop fail. However, I am reminded of a story. Once, when I was Scoutmaster, my troop was camping in a cabin (this was December in Michigan) and the cabin was heated only by a wood burning stove. In the wee hours of the morning, the fire all but dead, it got very cold in the little cabin. I lay awake on my cot knowing I could restart the fire.


I also hoped one of the Scouts or other leaders would get colder faster than me and re-start the fire.


Could I have gotten up and re-start the fire myself? Sure! Fortunately, it didn't come to that. One of the boys, who must have noticed that I was awake, said, "I'm cold Mr. Guinea."


"So what's stopping you from firing up the stove?" I asked.


He couldn't answer, so he lit the fire again.


Warmth at last.



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Great advice Unc, I actually have been pretty demanding but it just isn't working with this group. I now have a few more parents to pick on since cross over and I am planning an informal parent/scout day at my house. My plan is to invite everyone over, let the boys just play and run around the yard cook some hotdogs and get the parents together and basically sign them up for positions and MB. In the past I haven't had a problem recruiting parents, I am also a den leader for a WEBELO group which the pack committee consists of mostly my parents.


As for the cabin fire story. Sorry but I don't believe it was to teach the scouts. I believe that your bag was too cozy to get out of, might as well have the boys do it and call it a learning experience! This is the same reason I keep rolled up socks in my bag in similar circumstances.........just in case one of the boys disn't wake up lol.

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