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I'm afraid we are slowly gravitating toward a "one hour of entertainment during the week plus once a month camping club" type troop.


Yah, acco mentioned this in the parent thread. I feel his pain. I've seen (and am seeing) a few troops go this way.


From where I sit as a silly old furry council fellow, I think troops generally conform to their adult leaders over time, eh? Scouters who like to do water just naturally end up doin' lots of water stuff. That's still youth led, it's just that the youth see and get interested in whatever the adult mentors show 'em.


And the one thing that seems hard for lots of adult leaders to "get" these days is bein' able to talk about values in public. They're just uncomfortable with it, and they don't do it well or often. Yah, sure, some units make compromises on the uniform and such, but that's a far lesser failing in my mind than givin' up the notion of values and character as a core part of what we are for the lads. Camping club indeed! And honestly, I think the weakness in those values conversations leads to all the advancement method silliness we see, too. Just a patch club!


So I'm curious if others are seein' that, and if you are, how you've dealt with it. Either as commissioners or committee members or youth service scouters, what have yeh done that helps adults shine the values end of da program as much as the backpacking or badges?




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Scouters have to have an open mind. Personally I would take backpacking over anything that has to do with the water. I am not afraid of the water. I earned most of the water front awards while a Scout and when I was in college I swam about 6 miles a week. I just prefer the woods to the water front. All that being said our Scouts wanted to go to Tinnerman, a canoe base in Canada owned by the Cleveland Council. I signed up as adult leader for the trip because that is what they want to do.


I would like to go to Philmont someday. With that as goal I have have brought backpacking into our troop by selling it to the PLC. We did a short trip last year, a little over 4 miles and we are going 10 miles this month. Last year it took much more effort on my part. This year it was the Scouts who brought up the idea I just did some leg work to find out what options are available.


Our current SPL and several other Scouts really want to go to Sea Base so we have just secured a spot in 2010 to go. Perhaps Philmont in 2012 or 2013, who knows?


So I guess what I am getting at is that as Scouters we need to sell the things we are interested in to see if the Scouts want to do them. We also need to support the Scouts in the ones they already think they want to do regardless of our preferences.


Lastly and this is probably the hardest is to be motivated about is to find out what the opportunities there are for things that the Scouts have not brought up and are not on the top of our own lists This way the Scouts and the Scouters can all grow in their interests.


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That's hard Beavah. To speak openly and confidantly you need to be sure of yourself, failings and all. That is something to foster but not for teaching I think. An example goes along way and I hope that I have shown that to other adults as I learned to speak up.


I'd add to Baschram645 that someone to show the way should be followed closely by every other adult member within cooee and I include the older Scouts in that category. (Basically anyone over about 13 years who wants to perform as an Adult).


For those who are verbally impaired when it comes to values I say 'lead the way by your actions' and fire a well aimed evil eye for infractions. That can work better than a yarn 'cause the little guy (all of us at times) has to work out what it means. And if you need to delve deeper then maybe try asking questions if telling the story isn't your forte.


Here's a phrase to help. "What, so what, what next":


What happened?

So what is the impact of that?

What do we do better next time?


Get your Scouts used to being asked those questions. After a couple of months of the three questions they will relax and so will you. You don't always need to know the answers either. If they cannot answer the question ask it again next week. Gives you and them a week to get advice.


Think I'm meanering off topic Beavah - sorry.

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There is nothing wrong with a camping club if you can sneak in the rest of the stuff - game with a purpose, remember?


The boys are not going to request a campout that focuses on being thrifty. However, you CAN set up a campout with an award for the best dinner for under $2.00 per Scout.


For teaching values - I try to immediately point it out whenever a point of the Law is followed or broken. I was in the vicinity when one patrol asked another for some supplies for dinner. A member of the patrol rejected in a negative fashion, shall we say. I walked up with a smile and said that I had never seen 4 points of the Law broken so quickly! (Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, & Kind for those of you keeping track). We had a great talk about it, and the other Patrol then admitted that they were not Prepared.

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One of the reasons I enjoy spending time with the adults in Scouting is because I like to believe that they share much the same values as I do.


There are times when I visit this forum, when I wonder if we are so busy worrying about what I see as the small stuff; that I'm left wondering if we have lost sight of what we really are in business for.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the time I spend in this organization, I have a great time and have maybe more fun than is good for one person. Many if not most of my close friends are or were involved in Scouts and Scouting. So maybe for me the fun comes before the values?

I like to think that I know what most of my short-comings are and openly admit them. While at times I'm aware that I can be narrow minded and mule headed, I do try and allow and make room for the fact that not everyone has their values in the same order as I do.

I have friends in Scouting who see what they do with the organization as some kind of a mission and see what they do as doing God's work. For them "Duty to God" has a different meaning than it has for me. That doesn't make them wrong or me right. -We just have our values in a different order.

I'm very happy with my relationship with my God and am happy to in my own way keep it to myself.

I could go on to talk about the people who put physical fitness as their number one, or being kind as their number one.

As for what have I done to voice my values?

We do spent a fair amount of time talking about values in some of the new training's and I have been involved in these, sometimes this can lead to some lively conversation!

I enjoy the talks I have and have had with Scouts when the time has been right. I'm thinking of when we have been stuck in the van/car for a long time and it just seems to happen or when the embers of the camp fire and the mood is just right.

I do try to be as honest as I can with the Scouts I'm with! (No I'm not going to put down people who maybe I'm not that keen on!!)

I would hope that my actions show that I'm trying to live by the oath and law and the example I set is a good one?

Sadly most times when the value thing comes up is when someone has failed to live up to the oath and law and I'm guilty of bashing them over the head with it like some kind of a stick. " You didn't do this so you are letting the side down, do you think that this is friendly, loyal, trustworthy, kind" Sad thing is I know when I do this especially to a youth that they are so upset about being bashed, that it goes in one ear out out the other!


For me Scouts and Scouting is very much about relationships. I'm happy to share myself, faults and all with others. I let the people I know and work with and for get to know me and I try to get to know them and understand them.

My big hope is that they know that I care.

I care about them as an individual, a Scout/ Scouter or just as a person.


We have a great little Lad in the Ship. A kid with a wonderful smile. I caught him messing around while one of the other Sea Scouts was trying to teach him knots.

He was messing around because he wasn't very good at the knots. Not in a mean way I called him a Lazy Little Toad.

Yesterday I was walking the dogs when a car pulled up. The Lad and his Dad got out. After nearly being licked to death by Rory. The Lad said "Hey Ea, I can tie twenty knots in under three minutes" I told him that this was great and I was proud of him. He smiled and asked "Does this mean that I'm not a lazy little toad?" We both laughed.

I really was proud of him, I knew how hard it was for him.

My big hope is that he knows how proud of him I am?


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Bev, I am not sure what you are getting at with this thread. Forced values through public conversations; sounds like church.


Scouting should have a more natural flow, not forced. The growth in values comes from within the scout through varied and numerous experiences. The experiences come from traveling to places never seen before, doing things never done before, being independent, and learning along the way among fella's with shared beliefs.


What value conversations are camping clubs missing?



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I hadn't really paid much attention to this thread until now and Mafaking just struck a chord with me. Background which I've shared before. I am a Southern Baptist. My degree is in Religion from a SB university and I spent a short time in the ministry and a longer time as an ordained Deacon. We have some uber-fundamentalist evangelical Christians in our troop who view the BSA as a Christian organization. I've had more than one conversation with these folks who came to me looking for support to complain to the SM about our Scouts Own on Sunday mornings and about just saying amen instead of "in Jesus name" at the end of prayers. They felt that they were being discriminated against in the SM's efforts to be tolerant of other's beliefs and non-sectarian. They were sorely disappointed with my response to them. On a campout where the SM and Chaplain's Aid were not present, one of these adults took it upon himslef to step in and gave what amounted to a sermon with an alter call for salvation. One of the other adults rode the SM about his SM Minute presentations and wanted to have a round of guest SM Minutes. The purpose behind it? We need to be in these boy's faces every opportunity we have and make every opportunity a teaching moment to "hit them over the head" (his actual words) with the Oath and Law. These guys see the "values" as the most important thing in scouting and feel like they are lacking. These same guys ave the greatest difficulty with boy-led and realizing that scouting is a game with a purpose. The boys learn over time within the trappings of an outdoor program. They don't want to sit on a bench in the scout room and be preached at.


Your mileage is going to vary from troop to troop, but the values are built into the program. We commit ourselves to delivering the promise. If we do it right, the values are part of the mix that makes up the promise. It will take care of itself. We lead by example. Does that mean taking a teaching moment or sometimes having a pointed discussion is off limits? Of course not. But we don't need to beat them over the head with it either(This message has been edited by sr540beaver)

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We have one guy in our adult leadership who is big on long lectures, often delivered in high decibel, and frequently going back to various points in the Law and Oath. The kids ignore him. He means well, is often basically right, but man, when he gets going on a rant, the boys have all they can manage not to roll their eyes and walk away. Watching their body language, it is clear that they are simply enduring, not absorbing a word he is saying.


Yes BSA is a "camping club." That's part of the allure for most of the boys I know. There's nothing keeping us from incorporating values lessons into that experience in a more subtle (and hopefully more useful) way than the above though.

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Shying away and not being willing to stand up for and talk about what we as individuals believe in and value is maybe not a good thing. (I'm thinking about as Scouter's)

Boring the pants of everyone we might run into or meet is never a good thing.

Especially when dealing with kids.

Somewhere there has to be a happy medium or "Kid Friendly" way of going about this.

The trick is finding it!

Some people can do this without any effort, while others have to work at it.


I have always found it a little funny when someone that I have known for years lets me know something about them and what they value, which I had no idea of.

Just because they didn't choose to "Let it all out"! Doesn't mean that they didn't value whatever it was or that their values have in any way been compromised.


Some years back a good pal of mine who was Irish and living in England with her husband was having a visit from her Mother-In-Law. She was visiting from Ireland to see their new house.

I met her one Saturday when she was rushing out to buy some religious pictures for their bedroom. She didn't want her Mother-In-Law to visit and not see any of these in the bedroom. Thinking back to when I was a little fellow visiting Ireland, all the bedrooms had religious pictures in them.

I don't have any religious pictures in my bedroom. -I don't think this makes me any less of a Roman Catholic. I also don't care if anyone visits and notices that there aren't any. (Not hat we host that many people in our bedroom!)


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I think I'm tracking with Beavah's line of thought....


First, troops conforming to the SM over time...I concur with this observation. This can be good if the SM a) offers a challenging program the boys thrive in and b) doesn't get in a rut. But...


Example that is not so good: the SM who loves tailgate camping? Yep, that troop will traditionally cart out a ton of stuff, spend all Friday night putting it together by lantern light, only to have to tear it all down Sunday morning. Exhausting. More time is spent on logistics than scouting.


Even the most successful leaders have to evaluate their performance over time, and make adjustments to their strategy.


Second, values: imparting values isn't necessarily a lecture or a sermon...it's seamlessly displaying values in every day decisions, then making a stand as appropriate. For example, why do we have troops that cut corners on safety, merit badge sign offs, advancement etc.?


To quote an old first sergeant: "What you tolerate, will happen."


Teaching our scouts to be "brave" is more than lifesaving and first aid in an accident...it's also tied to having the courage to take a stand when you know values are being breached. Much tougher to instill, but probably more important.

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"Teaching our scouts to be "brave" is more than lifesaving and first aid in an accident...it's also tied to having the courage to take a stand when you know values are being breached. Much tougher to instill, but probably more important."


I'd second that notion in a heartbeat.... especially given the recent history (last 10-15 years) of our country. We need to make sure the next generation KNOWS how to stand by their values, because the current generation in business, in politics (both sides of the isle), in the classroom, and a lot of times in the family have forgotten how to do this.


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Choosing to be a Scouter is a big responsibility. It seems wherever I go I see Scouts I know. That being said I have to be a good example at all times, in and out of uniform. For me that is pretty easy.


On more than one occasion I have had a Scout say to me something about it is okay because I am not in uniform. I then tell them being a Scout is not about what we wear but who we are on the inside. That the Scout Oath and Law is something we live at all times not just at meetings and on campouts.


The Scout Law begins with "A Scout is" I think it should end with "I am a Scout" as a constant reminder that it is not a description of someone else.



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I've never heard of car camping called tailgate camping, but what you call it doesn't really matter I guess. A well trained troop of patrols should be able to have camp set up or taken down in under an hour which leaves plenty of time for program rather than logistics.


You arrive at camp. The PL looks for a suitable site for the patrol to camp. In the mean time, the patrol members go to the trailer and get their patrol box which contains their stove, stove stand, hose and distribution tree. Two boys carry it to their site while one boy carries the patrol box legs and a lantern. Another boy carries a propane bottle. They get to the site, set the box on it's legs, open it, take out the distribution tree and connect it to the propane bottle. Next they put the lantern on top of the tree, set up the stove stand, put the stove on it and connect the hose between the stove and tree. While a couple of guys have been doing this, the rest of the patrol have gone back to the trailer to get their tents and the tarps they use for footprints. Back to the campsite to set them up. The two guys who were hooking up the lanern and stove go back to the trailer and get their KP buckets and fire buckets along with their patrol dutch oven. In less than 30 minutes, the patrol campsite is complete and they go get their personal gear and put it in their tents. The rest of the night is free except for the PLC that will go over the program plans for the weekend. Saturday is program, program, program. Sunday morning is a reverse of Friday night. If you are doing it right, you shouldn't be spending more than two hours setting up and tearing down during your outing. Chances are you will spend twice that driving to and from camp.


Now, are there troops who don't do it this way? Of course. I work with new scouts and it is fun to watch them go on their first campouts and bring bags and gear like they are part of the Louis and Clark expedition. They quickly learn that they will not use 95% of what they bring and pare it down. Troops can learn this too and get leaner and meaner and organized and be quite efficient "tailgate campers".

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