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Your story is why I do not get involved in Scouting with my Scout's troop....it's totally GOBN "Good Old Boys Network" and since I was never a Scout, they have made it clear that I have nothing to contribute that they want (except dues of course)


One of da interesting things yeh see if you stay around Scouting long enough is that generally, successful scout troops rely on a strong leader (usually the SM) who develops a lot of experience, and a group of supporters (MCs, ASMs) who share in that vision. They enjoy each other's company, which is why they stay around and work so hard. And with a lot of time in, they develop quite a bit of experience.


That's different from Cub packs, where leadership turns over a lot faster and tends to be a lot more ad-hoc and less experienced. Thank goodness it is, because otherwise the stuff we do in Boy Scouting and Venturing would be nowhere near as safe as it is. Those experienced leaders are critical. In fact, when they eventually move on, or die with their boots on, often troops fold. Leastways, they always shrink dramatically and usually develop some safety and youth behavior issues until a new group develops some experience.


All that makes it hard for a new parent comin' from Cubs, eh? They want to be involved, but now there's extra training expected, higher standards of participation (medically as well as experientially), and da notion that yeh work with other adults on behalf of the program, rather than focusing on being Akela for your own son.


My experience is that sometimes da old guard does get a bit too cliquish or impatient with the more inexperienced new folks, but that they really aren't that unfriendly to those who just pitch in and help out in ways that are respectful of what's goin' on. No matter what organization you're in, if yeh come in during your first year telling everybody what they're doing wrong you're goin' to get the cold shoulder and rolled eyes. I always tell parents that yeh have to spend enough time learning all the things that are right about the troop yeh join. Once you have a full appreciation of all the things they do well - of the generosity of those pompous good ol' boys, of the positive outcomes for teenagers of that chaotic youth-led stuff - then yeh know enough to improve some things as well. And you'll have friends and allies in doin' it.


And yah, sure, some things yeh won't ever be able to change. :) When yeh work with people, yeh have to accept the whole person, the foibles along with da fantastic. Mrs. Beavah reminds me of that every day. ;) So da imperfections and foibles are just spice that flavor the good things, like salt or da occasional bitter herb.



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Nope! Not shouting..just emphazising!


Granted, it may not be as prevailent in Cubs as it is in Boys...but that attiutde is here too. Now some pack leaders do have a "GOBN" mentality. THese guys have been the leaders since Tiger and do not need ANYBODY to tell them anything at all! If that leader is about to step into a nest of snakes while hiking...well darnnit .. that's because he meant to! You know... to show you what not to do! :p


But then on the other side of the coin: New parents just finished their training and are pretty excited about becoming a DL or ADL. Every word out of their mouth is cub scout this and cub scout that. They see a few of the incumbant ( for lack of better word) leaders standing over to the side talking, they walk up and start talking YP, BALOO, cooking or G2SS right away. Then feel kinda outcast when the other existing DL's lok at them kinda funny.


Of course, in their excitement, the new leader didn't notice that the DL's were not talking about scouting at all, but rather boating,fishing, cars and engines, some recipe to try on the grill or whatever.


Kinda an awkward situation sometimes. So the new guy gets the idea that he's an outcast and the others have the GOBN mentality when they don't.


Soon enough, the new guy will either see that his first impression was wrong, or he'll constantly think he's the outcast and make everything into something it's not.



My experience was neither of the two. My experience was in situations where I just learbed that as a pack or den - we are not allowed to do something, but if I mention that it is not alowed or at the least, not sanctioned by BSA...... I get the whole "but we always done it before " speach.


So maybe not so much GOBN , but rather steadfast in our ways of thinking?


But then again, I was labeled as part of the GOBN ( to put it nicely) when I couldn't tell a parent that their son was absolutely for sure going to get an award at that nights pack meeting for selling over $500.00 of popcorn - even though they handed out the popcorn yet hadn't collected the money yet, AND the turn in date had passed by 2 months!


Matter of fact, I was only handing out prizes/giving recognition as a last minute thing because the CM was suddenly "obligated " by her employer to be elsewhere. I told "Mrs.Mom that I really didn't know anything but what was on the paperwork in front of me.


Still...just like that...I was a proud member of the GOBN - Hampstead NC chapter! :)

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Right on!

This is the time of year it flares - right after crossover.

There's an experienced leadership team in place who have a shared vision and have developed working relationships over many years.

New parents - especially the former successful motivated Cub/Web leaders - come aboard all excited about moving up, too.

(And it's about the time we're rushing to compete in Spring Camporees and get ready for Summer Camp.)


We want and need your help, but please wade in slowly to minimize the waves which could swamp the boat!

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I came right into a GOBN as a volunteer, then became a professional and Man oh Man did that ruffle some feathers! Being a woman, a DE, and disrupting the GOBN? Hahahaha!


Well, it took some doing, but it can be done. I had to convince the boys that I could play hardcore, too. I did camporee without a tent and slept under the stars, cooked my own meals on a backpacking stove, and stayed for the whole event. I had already been to wood badge and my ticket counselor made a big deal out of my beading ceremony in front of them. I came in uniform to every RoundTable, Court of Honor, and bought gifts for every Eagle on behalf of the district. When I went to IOLS that sealed the deal, and I became "One of the guys."


Being a tom-boy a times and being willing to do what it takes to do the best for the boys will carry you a long way for a woman. Being patient and concerned with the program and focusing on the needs of the boys helps, too.


Good luck -- it can be done!

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Also remember that those volunteers of the GOBN are most likely dying to get new members, even though it may not seem like it.

And the cliquishness you detect MAY be because every year they hear the promises of enthusiasm and joining in the adult side logistical activity that makes it possible for the boy side to occur. And then every year see it wane and fall away - they are just looking for that parent who IS as COMMITTED as they are.


Step up, carry some water, go to some training, carry some more water and see if you don't accidentally become a GOB yourself - but you can't do it without fulfilling some tasks, you are earning the trust of those adults to let you have the good of the Troop put on YOUR shoulders - so that they can rest easy that you won't let the boys down.

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I agree in Cubs it is less GOBN, and more "but that's the way we've always done it". It can make it difficult for a new leader, like me, to make suggestions for change. Especially if these suggestions are to avoid breaking BSA policies that the Pack was never concerned about in the past.

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A successful troop will widen the net of the GOBN by recognizing motivated talent and bringing them into the fold. Fresh faces bring fresh ideas thus a dynamic program with lots of energy.

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As I view it, the problem with penetrating any GOBN, whether it be Scouts, School Organizations (Band/PTA/PTSO) or even a Church Group is that depending on the strength of the GOBN, a tremendous amount of time and energy is required to succeed.


At some point the trade off between the frustration of penetrating the network and the potential good of helping becomes negative.

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I know some don't like the idea of Adult Patrols, but I think this is one area where they are a positive. If a Troop has a defined "path" into the GOBs, it might help. For us, to be an official member of the Old Fogey Patrol, you are required to have at least 20 nights camping with the Troop (including some nights at Summer Camp), and complete YP and Haz. Weather training. Yes, we have a Patrol flag and patch. The names of the official patrol members are part of the patrol flag. We now have adults who are in the process of "earning" their membership into the patrol. We have a lot of fun with it, and make it a big deal when another Old Fogey joins us. Any adult that goes camping with us becomes an Old Fogey-in-training. They are treated the same as any other patrol member.


Hopefully any parent in our Troop will see they are welcome to join us and become part of the group. All they have to do is show up, understand the program, and do their part in the Old Fogey patrol.

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I have been both. In truth we all have.


But particularly in scouting I have entered units or new positions with gusto; wanting to move away from stayed approach of the current leadership. I have also been a GOBN participant defending the methods employed and the purposeful nature of them.


GOBN, are not an elite associations with knowledge of Goldman Sack's trading programs or the Secrete society of Skull and bones.


Most of the GOBN is based on time served, training (to an extent) and commitment. Hang around and serve the scouts, unit or council a few years before you tell us we are all wrong. During that time helpout, serve and learn from us.





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Somehow I still can't get my mind wrapped around any acceptable adult grouping (GOB or otherwise) that is "for the boys' sake". Too often I get the feeling that some of these "groups" are basically "Boy" Scout groups/patrols for the 18+ generations.


There are three "groups" in our Troop's activities. 1) the Boys, 2) the adult leadership (registered) that monitors the boys' program, and 3) visitors/guests (non-registered).


The boys participate. The leadership monitors, suggests, protects, etc, but does not participate, and the guest/visitors observe.


Occasionally a guest/visitor with special skills may do more than observe. We had, for example, skilled watercraft personnel accompany our troop on a whitewater canoe/kayak outing. Other people have been invited into activities such as Eagle projects (Forester/Master Gardener - habitat restoration) and (Professor of Biology - pond cleanup/restoration). Obviously these people didn't come and hang out as GOB's, but came to assist the boys in their activities with their expertise.







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Our Old Fogey Patrol is "for the boys' sake", as you put it. How? For example, we had two new dads on our trip to Chickamauga last weekend. They learned how the patrol method works from being a participating member of the Old Fogey patrol. They had duties on the Duty Roster, just like the rest of the OFs. They learned about the equipment we use (same as the boys, except for the coffee maker) and learned how we clean up (3-pot system). They learned how our Boy Scout Troop camps, and they did it without interfering with the boys' patrols. They saw the kind of mess kits we used, the kind of tents we use. These dads are much farther along in understanding the Patrol Method.


When we went on the hikes, the new dads went with us. The older boys went on a 10-mile hike, while our new Scouts completed a 5-mile. The new dads also learned how to orient a map and to use a compass, by listening to the instructions for the boys. I don't see anything wrong with letting them "participate" in a hike through a National Battlefield Park, instead of making them sit in camp. I also don't see anything wrong with the adults "participating" in the Patrol Method in their own campsite. IMO, an informed adult is a good thing for the Troop.


Do we, the adults, have fun on camping trips? Absolutely! Do we participate with the boys? Sometimes. We go canoeing and whitewater rafting with them. We go on backpacking trips with them. We enjoy camping as our own patrol.


Do we participate in the patrol games and competitions? No, unless requested by the boys. Do we perform a skit at the campfire? Only if requested by the boys.


If our program is somehow not "for the boys sake," I must admit I fail to see how. There's no rule against having fun while supporting the boys.

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Brent I was in a troop that had adult patrol. then we were in a troop that was having some issues and we suggested the adult patrol. Well in that troop we never did quite get a name or flag, but the same was helpful.


The first one just had a patrol when we joined. The second one had the issue of all the adults milling around and talking while the boys were trying to get their information.. Just happened. A parent sees an adult leader, walks up to them and asks a question. Leader trys to be helpful, but when you have 5 or 6 of these little talk sessions going on, it was disruptive for the boys. The boys asked that we find a way to stop. We'd be good for a few meetings then slowly disintigrate again. It was getting to the point they were going to kick all adults but the SM & ASM out. Other Leaders were upset about possibly being barred from the troop, especially the CC.


We suggested the Adult Patrol method. Now when announcements are made, all adult leaders form into a patrol group just like any other Patrol. With this we are stay aware of the announcements, and while we are at attention, Parents know it is not the best time to ask us questions, because we are "busy". We also became more uniformed (SM & ASM were always uniformed. Us committee folks were not.)


And yes it did follow through with their outings. It made us more of a team, and less of an us vs them (committee vs SM & ASM).


You can't forget that you are the adult leaders, but becoming an adult patrol, does help unify you as a team.

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I am one of the Good Old Boys.


I am one of the Good Old Boys who make sure your scout is advancing.


I am one of the Good Old Boys that makes sure the wet troop gear is dried


I am one of the Good Old Boys who takes the patrol to the grocery store to buy 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 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 am one of the Good Old Boys who responds to the cry in the night at camp.


I am one of the Good Old Boys who fills out the tour permit


I am one of the Good Old Boys who scouts new places to go and see and camp


I am one of the Good Old Boys who hauls gear and scout to camp


I am one of the Good Old Boys who stays up all night with your home sick scout.


I am one of the Good Old Boys who helps the boys put on a program.


I am one of the Good Old Boys and I will not apologize for it.


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.


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.


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.




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Well spoken.


I would suggest that you add a few more Good Old Boy activities:


SM SMA Trained, Wood Badge, Red Cross First Responder, Red Cross CPR, Wilderness First Aid, Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat and Climb on Safely all completed in addition to the hour a week.


Being admitted to the network is not tough. It is a stepped process of reliable participation, training and increasing leadership responsibilities. Kind of like what a Scout goes through in his time with the troop.


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