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Beavah

Good Old Boys

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"I am one of the Good Old Boys." - I'm not, I'm just a SM with one or two ASM's to assist me.

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys who make sure your scout is advancing." - I'm not, I'm just the person who works with the SPL/ASPL and PL's to make sure your scout is advancing.

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys that makes sure the wet troop gear is dried" - I'm not, but I'm the person who trains the troop and patrol QM's to make sure the wet gear is dried.

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys who takes the patrol to the grocery store to buy their grub." - I'm not, the older boys take the younger ones to the grocery store and assist them in the purchase of their grub.

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys who brings extra sleeping bags, rain coat, coat, long underwear for the scout who is unprepared." - I'm not, but as SM I emphasize to the PL's to make sure their boys are properly prepared for the outings they will be going on. After 20 years, I have never found a scout that would want to wear my underwear.... :)

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys who has a loaf of bread and PB&J just in case the Patrol meal doesn't turn out." - I'm not, but my Grubmaster is reminded that not all boys like the food prepared and to have extra PBJ and other items available for those that don't eat what's served. It is also suggested that the Grubmaster take a survey of their patrol members to make sure the food is what the boys want to eat. If the meal bombs, there's always the PBJ.

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys who responds to the cry in the night at camp." - I'm not, but I do get up to help the PL take care of his boys (YP issues here!)

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys who fills out the tour permit" - I'm not, but by BSA policy I have ASM's and committee members that take care of the paperwork.

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys who scouts new places to go and see and camp" - I'm not, but I do allow my boys to scout out new places, research them and see to it that they have whatever it takes to get them to where they want to go.

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys who hauls gear and scout to camp" - I'm not, but I do have helpful parents and ASM's that see to it that travel logistics are covered according to BSA policy.

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys who stays up all night with your home sick scout." - I'm not, but I do sit up the the PL as he handles the problem (YP issues here)

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys who helps the boys put on a program." - I'm not, but I do assist the boys in their development of their program.

 

"I am one of the Good Old Boys and I will not apologize for it." - I'm not so I don't have to defend my position as to being one.

 

"I enjoy each and every youth I serve, But I enjoy the moments shared with friends that I have hiked hundreds of miles with, camped in monsoons, bled and sweat and watched the boys grow together. Shared successes and Failures with. I am sorry you were not their for all of that, there is nothing I can do to change that. If you want to join the GOBC get off your can, roll up your sleeves, slip on those boots and get going."

 

A Scout is Friendly. Don't need a GOB designation to follow the Spirit of Scouting. If there's someone there who wants to help my boys succeed, they're my BFF.... :)

 

"Cub leaders, just because your a Type A personality and previously were a CM, ACM, CL, CC or any other acronym doesn't give you an auto entry into a circle of friends. Get over it."

 

Being interested in my Scouts gives you an auto entry in my circle of friends. If they need a designation, I'd use BFF instead of GOB.

 

"I promise, if you camp with us, haul boys, hike, go to round table, attend meetings, and PARTICIPATE. You will be one of us before you know it."

 

Why must there be a separate designation given and some sort of "membership" hoops to jump through before one can become "part of the group?" I have had parents pull up at an activity and ask at the last minute if anyone needs a ride to an event. They volunteer for the committee meetings, sit on BOR's, make sure the boys have what they need for fundraising events, and bend over backwards to make sure the boy have what they need to succeed. Anyone who has even the minutest interest in offering their help in the troop is my BFF.... :) They don't get a pin, they don't get recognition very often, they don't always wear a uniform, and don't have to sign a registration application. They don't wear patches on their shirt, but if they come up, roll up their sleeves, and say to the boys, what can I do to help, they're my BFF... :)

 

Never take an opportunity away from a boy to do for himself! I guess if one were to get right down to it, my GOB's all tend to be under 18 years of age.... :)

 

Stosh

 

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Blake You missed my point completely.

 

The cost of membership is participation.

 

Blake nice job making yourself and your program superior line by line. I feel sad for you and the lack of connection between yourself, the youth and adults you serve. Your program maybe perfect, ours is far from it. Inexperienced poor youth from the near inner city. We make do. All come from almost exclusively single parent families, grandparent, mom or dad has to stay home with the siblings or work, we do not have enough volunteers, probably never will. Not an excuse or complaint just the way it is.

 

We have one patrol, no spl, because with only 8 boys there really is no need. the boys live in the inner city so it is impossible for them to leave anything outside their homes to dry or air out.

 

How is going to see what is going on in the middle of the night a yp issue?? Please I am not stupid. If you have never done it then your not much of a SM.

 

Good old boy isn't my term, using it to tell a story and make a point.

 

Augustine in addition to the troop activities the Troop leadership is involve with Council leader training, All or woodbadge trained, except for me which is being taken care of this summer. We have completed all of the training you have mentioned.

 

 

 

 

 

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Basementdweller, I understand your point about participation...but not all GOBs are the same. You and your comrades represent the positive end of the spectrum...uniters, not dividers.

 

The opposite, and with shades of gray in between, are GOB networks that make no bones their self perceived elite status.

 

As a military guy, I get to see a new council ever couple years.

 

To stir the pot a bit, here are some hallmarks of the negative end of the GOB system:

- No WB beads? Then your opinion doesn't count (no tall tale, I've seen this)

- You were not part of the council (or lodge) folklore back in the day (didn't work on staff for the beloved camp director of all time three decades ago, didn't receive 1 of the 50 first edition lodge flaps 25 yrs ago, you didn't play water polo in the old swimming pool that used to be by the Pawnee campsite, etc.)

- We've always done day camp/annual registration/camporee in this manner/this location for X years, so hush up with your crazy ideas

 

At this point in life, I chuckle inwardly when I see these things. I know eventually I'll get orders and move, so I try find my place in the council and do my part. And I'll always gravitate to the positive GOBs that fortunately exist in each council. But the tribal behavior is indeed interesting to watch.

 

The irony is, negative GOBs can't see the damage they are causing on scouting. They may love the program more than anyone, I'll give them that. But failing to adapt to new ideas, and by not welcoming new scouters into the fold, the program does not thrive. Instead of the program being for the scouts, it's all about the GOBs.

 

Another sad point: negative-end-of-spectrum GOBs always overestimate what they contribute.

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"Another sad point: negative-end-of-spectrum GOBs always overestimate what they contribute."

 

Excellent. That goes along with the negative end of the GOBN over-committing but under-producing, just in an effort to hang together. I was at a CS Day Camp, where one of the activities was cookies in a box oven. It was actually "Groups of Cubs come and get these cookies we cooked while 8 of us were hanging out on the porch"

 

And BTW Basementdweller, I thought the post was excellent.

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The fella's that hangout cook and camp just to hang out with other old timers have a name.

 

Those are Man Scouts.

 

Please people we need to keep our stereotypical and judgmental categories organized.

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Basementdweller, my post was not a suggestion of what you additionally needed to do, but rather a reminder to add to your list. Folks who do what it takes are most often trained.

 

 

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Sorry to hear about your poor WB experience. Elitism is not part of the program, and, in fact, we teach the exact opposite. One of the first lessons in WB 21st Century is valuing diversity and valuing the opinions of others. As part of the lesson, we would show a movie clip from the end of Casa Blanca, where Bogart shoots the German. Someone asks, "What are we going to do now?" and the officer replies, "Round up the usual suspects."

 

We point out that all too often, that is how things get done in Scouting. Round up the usual suspects. There are several problems with this approach. 1. You burn out your dedicated leaders. 2. You never get any new leaders to get involved to help carry some of the load. 3. You never get any new ideas, and programs become stale.

 

If those elite WBers really paid attention to the course and lessons, they wouldn't act that way. If you run into it again, I would suggest using your best French accent, and hit them with, "Just round up the usual suspects, right?" If you are lucky, they will recognize the reference and maybe remember that lesson.

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Basement, I wasn't trying to discredit your post, only to point out that one doesn't need to be a GOB to get in on the BSA program. Anyone willing to work, even in the least bit, i.e. swing by another boy's house and pick him up for a meeting because his parents can't get him there, is "in the club" in my book.

 

The GOBN strata that seems to permeate the BSA program is in my opinion not very constructive for the boys. Everyone's mileage may vary. Basement, what you are describing is more of a dedicated scouter than a GOB participant.

 

And for all the WB snobs out there. I have beads and a woggle and because I got them pre-2000 doesn't mean my training was inferior to yours. And no, I'm not going to take the course a second time to come up to snuff and join your GOBN for the 21st Century.

 

Our council wanted WB/21st for the SM/ASM corps of leadership to the Nat'l Jamboree. Because of this I didn't even bother putting my name in. However, they came to me, requested I do, was selected and I was assigned ASM in charge of the boys. Boy-led, patrol-method forever! Sometimes peoples' judgments are based on something other that GOBN woggles and beads.

 

I'm thinking I'm finally breaking into the GOBN of the council though... after 20 years, I finally got District Award of Merit.... :) All my buddies have pulled off Silver Beaver many moons ago..... Why? They told me because I didn't do anything for the district or council and spent all my time working just with just the boys.... Yeah! Ain't it great! :)

 

Stosh

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Hey!! We got no Bogie at my Woodbadge! I want a redo! (That means I get to go again, What fun!) We did get another movie though, so pass the popcorn, "I got Red October Skys". My husband is on staff I guess they change out the movies. There's two others I know they play.

 

I might see a feeling of being elite with some of the old timers who took WB when you really had to be chosen in order to take the course. It was considered a great honor to be chosen.

 

Now, anyone can take it, (if you have time and doe-ray-me). Does it make me better then you? No.. I just went out, had a great time, met some great folks, and learned somethings that will make me a better communicator and better team member. Not better then you, lots of people have that gift naturally. Just better then I use to be.. Better then the old me, Better.. That's all.

 

Here is a weird thing, we are encouraged to take WB. But, I heard from our ex-DE that the council wont give him the time off to take WB, (and he needed it too!) Why is it great for us, but they don't see it as utmost important to get the Council staff WB trained ASAP.

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Stosh sez: "I'm thinking I'm finally breaking into the GOBN of the council though... after 20 years, I finally got District Award of Merit.... All my buddies have pulled off Silver Beaver many moons ago..... Why? They told me because I didn't do anything for the district or council and spent all my time working just with just the boys.... Yeah! Ain't it great!"

 

Oh boy, I hear what you're saying there. Not to belittle the good folks who do a lot of work in district and council positions. Much of what they do is valuable. But in my corner of the world, a lot of prestige seems to be assigned to fellas who haven't been on a camp-out in decades, have only a flimsy connection with a unit of boys, and come across as merely trophy collectors looking for the next bead and bauble. Now this assessment isn't global, but there is enough of it out there to rub me the wrong way at times.

 

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I was an enthused "newbie" at one time. I was a Tiger Partner (pre-den leaders for Tigers), Wolf, Bear and Webelos Den Leader and a part time SA for a year and when my second son joined the troop I was soon a "trained" SA, WB beads, MB counselor, etc. I was not pushy (who ever thinks they are?) but was seen as a threat I believe to the established Scoutmaster and his close SA (we had about 5 SAs but the SM alomost exclusively utilized only one). I went on outings and gladly performed the duties assigned by the SM. Some things just take time. Next thing I knew, a year later I was the SM and perceived as part of the GOB network.

 

Fast forward to the present. I've been the course director for many training course (primarily for Boy Scouts). On the last day right before "graduation" we congratulate the trained and ask them to go forth and utilize their training for the good of the program and for the boys (standard boiler plate platitudes, etc.) but also caution them not to g oback to their unit and immediately tell the current "regime" how they learned in training that they are doing something wrong. While possibly technically correct, it may not really improve things in the best manner. It is really common sense, just like joining a new firm and trying to immediately impress the boss may tick off existing workers.

 

So, to sum up my ramblings, I have seen GOBN that are both "good" and "bad" and new eager volunteers that are both "good" and "bad."

 

My advice for parents of Webelos is to take a step back, observe as much as you can, get as much training as possible but don't necessarily start as a CM or SA until you've observed and understood the program for at least six months.

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jblake congrats on your District Award of Merit! Your long wait shows a common problem, and Wakwib's observations are right on the money.

 

The lion's share of these awards should go to scouters at the unit level. This would encourage alot of current district and council types to serve in the unit instead.

 

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