Author Topic: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.  (Read 43702 times)

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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« on: February 13, 2013, 09:18:15 AM »
I haven't seen a place for any Boy Scout Leader to come regularly to talk about problems, questions, neat ideas or anything else on B&B pertaining to the Boy Scouts.  I have seen some good posts about the BSA here and there but I thought it would be a good idea to have a localized thread where we can discuss anything about the goings on of troops, districts, councils, etc. 

Please feel welcome to voice any questions or give any great ideas.
Also, we might know you on the regular B&B boards but please explain your position in the BSA and if you are just a helping parent that is great, too.

This is not just for the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) but any Scout Leader from around the World!
Scouts are connected through the World Brotherhood of Scouting.


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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 09:23:46 AM »
I'm Matt.  I am Assistant District Commissioner of the Nishnabec District of the Calumet Council.  I am, also, an Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 610, Oak Forest, IL (Calumet Council) and First Mate of Sea Scout Ship 13, Plainfield, IL (Rainbow Council).  I have had many other positions in my time as an adult leader in the BSA ranging from Tiger Den Leader to Scoutmaster.  I am a Brotherhood Member of the OA (Order of the Arrow) and spend a lot of time helping the youth in the OA.
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Online madmax

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 09:29:59 AM »
I have several friends with kids about at that age.  Because I camp alot, they have asked me about the Boy Scouts and if they should join 'em up.  They have certain concerns I'm sure you've heard before.  I have always encouraged participation.  The discipline and goals achievement activities are invaluable to a kid.   

Thanks for taking the time and energy to invest in our youth.

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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 09:36:25 AM »
I appreciate you encouraging participation.  It is hard to get kids to participate in the urban/suburban areas around here because it's "not cool" to be in the scouts.  I don't know what is more cool than shooting bb guns while your a little kid and shooting rifles and shotguns when you are older, rock climbing, swimming, fishing, and a whole lot more.
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 11:05:31 AM »
Matt.. is it really a 'not cool' factor or is it just plain fear?  From the parents point of view? 
 
What I mean is..  and for example..  A boy forgot that his jeans had his pocket knife in it, wore those jeans to school and while showing off his pride and joy of his BC knife he ended up getting expelled.  Not just warned or the knife conviscated..expell ed with the 0 tolerance law.   The parents had to try three other schools just to get this kid re-enlisted back into school.  The parents have to drive this kid to a bus pick-up four miles away every day..twice a day.    They are wishing they had never put this kid in BoyScouts.   They are spreading the word to other parents what could happen ..spreading the fear.  Yes, they are angry at the 0 Tolerance law, but feel that the choice THEY had to enlist their boy into BC's could have avoided all this hassle.    He's no longer in BC.    He's hurt, confused and now has an attitude about 'weapons' and how you can loose all your friends over having one in your hand. 
 
Its incredibly sad how things have changed.
 
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Offline Frugal Bohemian

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 11:14:16 AM »
Matt.. is it really a 'not cool' factor or is it just plain fear?  From the parents point of view?

As the father of 3 boys, I can say it's more likely a "not cool" factor and not a "fear" factor.  The situation you spoke of is an outlier and not something that most parents really think about too much.  Suburban kids have different peer pressures than kids in rural areas.
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 11:24:22 AM »
I do agree with the comment of differences of peer pressures of rural/suburban kids.   I think its the same for the parents of these children too as far as peer pressure.   
 
WW.
 
 
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 11:40:54 AM »
WW:  Frugal has it right.  The kids around here respect the gangs (whether it be fear, envy or whatever else) and the gangs don't think it's cool and so a blind majority doesn't think it is cool.  The media doesn't help the image of the American Boy Scout either.  For example, the movie called "UP", shows one of the major characters as a scout that is portrayed as a kid that who is some what nerdy, clumsy, overweight, somewhat annoying and whiny.  It is a great movie and the kid shows to have a good heart but the outward appearance did nothing to flatter the scouts.
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 11:43:04 AM »
On another note:  Even kids that will never walk away from the Boy Scout program and love it, may probably not ever tell their friends about how much fun it is and that they should try it out.  If they do, it is not often. 
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 11:53:01 AM »
I agree that the media hasnt helped the Boy Scouts.    I'm all for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cadets. 
 
I had a conversation not to many years ago with another young parent.  This parent wanted to find something for their 7 year old boy to do.   I mentioned Boy Scouts.. the look I got was disturbing.  The comment was " I dont need my boy shooting and cutting things up".  whoa...     That set me off.. and I started with "what would you rather have?  A boy who is handed a weapon and not having a clue on how to use it or one that holds that weapon with respect and knowlege of what its capable of and better his chances of survival wether against human or animal?"....   And then I asked them to look deeper into what these boys are taught by reading the Boy Scout books.   
 
He's in Boy Scouts now and enjoying himself.  His dad is a great participator.
 
This still goes back to that initial 'fear'  that parent had from like you said.. media. 
 
WW.
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 11:54:44 AM »
Wish that there were more Matt's in this world.  Can't imagine trying to entice inner city kids into the scouts.

I wonder if I, as a school teacher, would have been shot down promoting the scouts in the open...in Central FL...got called out on having a bible on my desk...

go see your kids classroom and what they're teaching them.  Really.
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Offline Frugal Bohemian

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 12:18:56 PM »
WW:  Frugal has it right.  The kids around here respect the gangs (whether it be fear, envy or whatever else) and the gangs don't think it's cool and so a blind majority doesn't think it is cool.  The media doesn't help the image of the American Boy Scout either.  For example, the movie called "UP", shows one of the major characters as a scout that is portrayed as a kid that who is some what nerdy, clumsy, overweight, somewhat annoying and whiny.  It is a great movie and the kid shows to have a good heart but the outward appearance did nothing to flatter the scouts.

In my suburb (and I'm pretty close to the city) it's not so much about respecting gangs as it is about the "nerdy/oaf" perception of the scouts.  And the uniforms.  Kids are goofy about that stuff, especially when it's not part of the culture of their environment.  They're not seen as "cool", even though they do cool stuff.  None of my kids' friends ever had anything but fear/distrust of gangs and mostly ambivalence towards the scouts.  I kinda wish the scouts had better PR in the suburbs and the city.
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 01:23:38 PM »
WW:  Frugal has it right.  The kids around here respect the gangs (whether it be fear, envy or whatever else) and the gangs don't think it's cool and so a blind majority doesn't think it is cool.  The media doesn't help the image of the American Boy Scout either.  For example, the movie called "UP", shows one of the major characters as a scout that is portrayed as a kid that who is some what nerdy, clumsy, overweight, somewhat annoying and whiny.  It is a great movie and the kid shows to have a good heart but the outward appearance did nothing to flatter the scouts.

In my suburb (and I'm pretty close to the city) it's not so much about respecting gangs as it is about the "nerdy/oaf" perception of the scouts.  And the uniforms.  Kids are goofy about that stuff, especially when it's not part of the culture of their environment.  They're not seen as "cool", even though they do cool stuff.  None of my kids' friends ever had anything but fear/distrust of gangs and mostly ambivalence towards the scouts.  I kinda wish the scouts had better PR in the suburbs and the city.
Wish that there were more Matt's in this world.  Can't imagine trying to entice inner city kids into the scouts.

I wonder if I, as a school teacher, would have been shot down promoting the scouts in the open...in Central FL...got called out on having a bible on my desk...

go see your kids classroom and what they're teaching them.  Really.

When I helped as a district membership chair several years ago, I used to go to the schools (in uniform) and talk to the kids about the fun and adventure of scouting for recruitment of new scouts.  The little kids (1st to 3rd) would light up and all want the paper work to sign up for the Cub Scouts.  The 3rd and 4th graders would be a little more hesitant and look around (even the kids already in the scouts) and see how there their friends were reacting.  And the 5th through 8th graders (Boy Scout age) would just laugh and snicker.  I couldn't tell what they were saying because I have lost a lot of hearing but I know it was not good things that's for sure. 

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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 01:26:12 PM »
I have a question for scouters out there about fall camporees and winter klondikes (at least that is what we call them around here).  We have been having poor turn outs for these district wide events and struggle to get them attended and fun filled.

What do you all do for these type of events and are they well attended?
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 01:29:08 PM »
retract my comments.

I fully support Matt.   :)
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Offline Saintnick001

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2013, 02:03:36 PM »
I really wish I had stuck it out in Scouts. I made it through Cubs and then Webelos. Would have been an actual Boy Scout with the cool tan uniform if I had continued with it. Not sure what happened but it's something I kinda regret.
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2013, 02:30:51 PM »
I have been in Scouting since I was a Scout.  Eagle Scout, Brotherhood OA.  Trained Scoutmaster/ASM.  I've been a Unit Commissioner, ASM, SM, Varsity Coach and now I am just a Cubby Dad.

Klondike and Camporee attendance seems to be linked to two things: how active and supportive the Troop is and what the Troop's relationship is with the District...as well as how active and visual the District is from the Troop perspective.  I know often Troops will be less enthusiastic to attend District activities if there is little to no District interaction at the troop level. 
We have had some stellar Klondikes and some not-so-much back home in Silvertip District in Montana...but it was usually pretty good and the OA always had a stellar showing as staff for the events.
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2013, 02:55:16 PM »
Klondike and Camporee attendance seems to be linked to two things: how active and supportive the Troop is and what the Troop's relationship is with the District...as well as how active and visual the District is from the Troop perspective.  I know often Troops will be less enthusiastic to attend District activities if there is little to no District interaction at the troop level. 
We have had some stellar Klondikes and some not-so-much back home in Silvertip District in Montana...but it was usually pretty good and the OA always had a stellar showing as staff for the events.

We (district members) have asked Scoutmasters and ASMs at roundtables why there is poor attendence at the Camporees and Klondikes.  They say they have other outings planned and/or don't have a reason.  We have tried to think out of the box and make new ideas for the outings but still there is no use when no one even signs up to go.  Our Spring Camporee is heavily attended because we have our OA Tap Out at this event and this is the only time a year a prospective member can be tapped out.  Everyone seams to have fun with what ever had been planned at the Camporee but I question if it would be attended if there was no Tap Out.

I have been in Scouting since I was a Scout.  Eagle Scout, Brotherhood OA.  Trained Scoutmaster/ASM.  I've been a Unit Commissioner, ASM, SM, Varsity Coach and now I am just a Cubby Dad.

You know as well as I do that being just a Cubby Dad is quite often more important than any other adult position in scouting.  ;)

I will soon be a Tiger Den Leader again.  I am looking forward to the times with my son but I am cringing at the chaos (or is it fun) of the whole Tiger Den.   :)
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Offline Gryphon

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2013, 03:07:07 PM »
Matt: This is my first son in Scouting, so I am stoked for sure.

Sounds like it may be worth seeing if the OA boys would be willing to make the rounds of the Troops and try to get the boys jazzed up for upcoming events.  perhaps have them survey the boys when they visit to see what they would like to do at a camporee.
We did a MountainMan Rendezvous based camporee just before I left socal.  It was a BLAST!  We had costume contest, displays and the main event was a timed course involving old-time skills: flint and steel, tomahawk throwing, canoeing course, etc. 
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2013, 04:36:26 PM »
Now that sounds like a pretty good idea.
I will have to see about that for our Fall Camporee.
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Offline Gryphon

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2013, 06:37:29 PM »
Sometimes ya gotta lead the leaders.  Boy pressure can work quite well.  So can getting charter org's jazzed up too...especially with church-chartered units.  A lot of times it seems if the preacher/Bishop/clergy gets excited, it's going to happen regardless of what the SM thinks.  Getting parents involved in running stations and giving presentations makes a lot of difference as well.
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2013, 06:31:51 AM »
I can agree with that.  It would be nice if the Unit Commissioner staff was always doing their job and meeting with the units including the Institutional Head and Chartered Rep.  A lot of times the I.H. and charter org. around here will open their doors for the scouts to have a spot and then want nothing more to do with the scouting unit.  They won't even offer a person as a chartered organization representative (as they are supposed to).  This being the case, there is little charter organization - unit contact.  I have seen pros and cons of this missing contact but in times where the charter has massive amounts of kids, the charter does little to help get new members. 
Did that make sense because it did when I wrote this but I am not sure now.
 :shrug:
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2013, 08:18:01 AM »
Hey Matt, I don't know what to say about a lot of the troubles. Many good points have been made here. In changing times, It may be that the scouts become a more local entity. Ebb and Flow kind of thing. Some how you need to find the cool factor and tap it. Maybe do an event and open it to the general public. Advertise it as cool survival pack trip or something. Then once you have them on the trip you can show them how cool the Scout program really is. Something in the approach needs to change. I think it's awesome you have been so involved. Good on ya Bro.
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Offline Frugal Bohemian

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2013, 08:46:01 AM »
Advertise it as cool survival pack trip or something. Then once you have them on the trip you can show them how cool the Scout program really is. Something in the approach needs to change. I think it's awesome you have been so involved. Good on ya Bro.

Two words:

Zombie Apocalypse!!!

Actually, I have no idea if that's the right approach or not.....but Zombies seem to be the in thing right now.  Also, with all of the reality shows on right now (Doomsday Preppers, Survivorman, Survivor, etc. etc.) there's gotta be a way to work that angle into scouting recruitment.
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2013, 09:03:02 AM »
Great job on this section Matt. Love the idea.
I am Cub Scout leader and Assistant Cub Master. Our Pack and Troop has seen constant declining numbers the last few years, until this past year. Our Pack almost doubled in size! We were lucky enough to have a huge number sign up and so far stick with it. I personally was extremely curious as to what the draw was and many parents said it was word of mouth. They had heard from other parents whose sons had such a great enjoyably and sometimes educational time last year. I truly believe that you get out of it what you put in. It's not just about the time and energy you put in, it's about the passion behind it. If the leader cares, enjoys it and wants to do it, then usually the boys will as well. Going forward we are all hoping that the increasing numbers continue and that it will carry over to the Troop.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 10:33:45 AM by Nelson »
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2013, 09:21:41 AM »
I maybe way off here, but are soldiers "cool" up there, Matt?  They get alot of respect down here.  Having a soldier in uniform that was a boy scout give a short testimony about how it prepared him for service with you on your recruitment talks might provide some "coolness".  Or a uniformed fireman/boy scout.  The kids down here love both those guys.

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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2013, 10:30:29 AM »
MadMax:  Thankfully, yes the kids respect the military.  That is a great idea about getting some to talk how the Boy Scouts prepped them. 

Nelson:  Passion from the leader is key.  If he is just loddy dah then the unit will definitely, suffer.

Frugal and C3:  Our council is hosting an E-Prep Course based on the Zombie Apocalypse.  Although it is only open to Boy Scouts.  The issue with inviting non-scouts is insurance coverage.  At certain events, we allow non-scouts to come out and participate but they need to sign a Boy Scout application (doing so covers them under the insurance).  We don't ask for any money for the "trying out" of the scouts at these events and explain it is just for insurance purposes.  More times than not, the parent walks away with the non-scout.  On the other hand, we gain a few members this way but it is not as many as the ones that walk away.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2013, 02:33:04 PM »
Matt.. is it really a 'not cool' factor or is it just plain fear?  From the parents point of view? 
 
What I mean is..  and for example..  A boy forgot that his jeans had his pocket knife in it, wore those jeans to school and while showing off his pride and joy of his BC knife he ended up getting expelled.  Not just warned or the knife conviscated..expell ed with the 0 tolerance law.   The parents had to try three other schools just to get this kid re-enlisted back into school.  The parents have to drive this kid to a bus pick-up four miles away every day..twice a day.    They are wishing they had never put this kid in BoyScouts.   They are spreading the word to other parents what could happen ..spreading the fear.  Yes, they are angry at the 0 Tolerance law, but feel that the choice THEY had to enlist their boy into BC's could have avoided all this hassle.    He's no longer in BC.    He's hurt, confused and now has an attitude about 'weapons' and how you can loose all your friends over having one in your hand. 
 
Its incredibly sad how things have changed.
 
WW 
 
 

While I don't like zero tolerance policies I understand that the rules are there.  I don't know why they would blame the Boy Scouts.  The child made two mistakes here.  The first was having it in his pocket which is easy enough to do without knowing it.  Where he made the big mistake was showing "his pride and joy" to other children.  I suspect the Boy Scouts would have told the child not to take the knife out.  Maybe the problem here lies with the parents. 
 
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2013, 07:25:56 PM »
I can agree with that.  It would be nice if the Unit Commissioner staff was always doing their job and meeting with the units including the Institutional Head and Chartered Rep.  A lot of times the I.H. and charter org. around here will open their doors for the scouts to have a spot and then want nothing more to do with the scouting unit.  They won't even offer a person as a chartered organization representative (as they are supposed to).  This being the case, there is little charter organization - unit contact.  I have seen pros and cons of this missing contact but in times where the charter has massive amounts of kids, the charter does little to help get new members. 
Did that make sense because it did when I wrote this but I am not sure now.
 :shrug:

Yes indeed, it makes total sense.  Thats exactly the scenario i had in mind.  That seems to be the most common point of failure.
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2013, 08:48:15 PM »
I'll give you a bit of "for what it's worth" which may well be nothing. I loved being a boy scout, but almost didn't join because of the cub scout experience. Back towards the middle of the last century, cub scouts were placed in the tender care of "den mothers" and got the living crap mothered out of them, like they didn't have enough of that at home. Projects were likely to involve yarn, blunt nosed scissors, finger painting, something that resembled cheerleading with nothing and nobody to cheer about or for.

Tipical den mothers were always at the top of the local social strata, and felt that their charges should be cognisant of that and offer due reverance to them as well as their spoiled offspring. I couldn't have put it into words back then, but it seemed that they should have been running a finishing school for young girls. Nobody would expect men to lead packs of brownies. Why the opposite?

I did, however, take boy scouting seriously, and did well. It was a blessing in my life. The above was only written in case it might reveal a way to better the earlier years, not as an insult.

One last thing about winter camporees. All parents hate having sick kids. Popular myth has it that freezing your ankles off will make you sick. Kids believe it and so do parents. I wouldn't have gone to a winter camporee 50 years ago. If I had wanted to, my parents would have balked. Loooong tradition.........W inter is for school, summer is for scouts and camping.......You wanna buck tradition, be my guest, but don't expect a lot of company. Hard truths, spoken with a genuine desire to help....Joe

Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2013, 06:40:51 AM »
I'll give you a bit of "for what it's worth" which may well be nothing. I loved being a boy scout, but almost didn't join because of the cub scout experience. Back towards the middle of the last century, cub scouts were placed in the tender care of "den mothers" and got the living crap mothered out of them, like they didn't have enough of that at home. Projects were likely to involve yarn, blunt nosed scissors, finger painting, something that resembled cheerleading with nothing and nobody to cheer about or for.

Tipical den mothers were always at the top of the local social strata, and felt that their charges should be cognisant of that and offer due reverance to them as well as their spoiled offspring. I couldn't have put it into words back then, but it seemed that they should have been running a finishing school for young girls. Nobody would expect men to lead packs of brownies. Why the opposite?


I very much agree with this. I was only a Cub Scout a couple years.  The reason it was for only 2 years had much to do with what you said.  We made pretty bars of soap for or mom's and other dainties to decorate our bathrooms for our mom's.  I didn't want that and quit.  (Although, I do remember visiting the local police department and seeing the armory - tons of M-16s.  :) )

When my son started with the Cub Scouts as a Tiger Cub, I saw the same thing happening.  He was making masquerade ball masks and other things that a typical boy didn't want to do.  I told him to suffer through it and I said that I would be a leader and make things better.  The first thing that I did was start to incorporate the handbook requirements into the Den Meetings.  This is partly designed to be done at home with parents help, however, the parents for the most part weren't doing their part which is a big part in Cub Scouts (NOT BOY SCOUTING).  So now I had the Cubs advancing in their rank.  For activities, I would incorporate outdoor skills that they had signed up in the Cub Scouts to do.  I had a great Den and a great Pack. 

When I got to the Boy Scout level and was asked to become the Scoutmaster, I said yes if our committee would incorporate a rule.  The rule was that parents were welcome at the meetings but that they had to sit at the parent table in the corner of the gym away from the Scouts' meeting area.  Only Trained Scoutmasters and ASMs were allowed at the scout meetings (no Committee members etc were allowed unless they were requested as a guest).  This was to keep the meddling moms and others from doing the scouts work for the boys and answering questions for them.  They still tried but after the 3 strike rule they had to leave by themselves or leave taking their son's.  To say the least, the moms left the scouts alone and the boys turned into young men rather quickly.

I found that making some rules to stop interfering and sticking by them really made the Troop Unit a lot stronger and we got the boys following the Patrol Method in no time.  There comes a time (it's when the boy's get to boy scouts) that the parents (particularly the moms need to cut the apron strings and let a boy become a young man.)
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2013, 07:58:12 AM »
Funny, I had the opposite experience.  I'm sure it was atypical.  I loved Cubs and my Mom was the den leader.  She has never in over 50 years been accused of babying her 3 boys. lol.  We folowed the book as well as I can remember.  We also built model boats with scrap wood with rubberband paddles and sails.  We got pretty good at it and sailed them in the park pond.  Mom and Dad were into horses and we had alot of leather working tools.  We designed our own bags and made them out of paper to see if they would work.  A friend would come over to cut the leather and drill the holes.  We'ld sew them together and proudly sported those projects.  We went on field trips to the Natural History museum and New Salem (a recreated 1800's village).  We went on campouts and my Mom would cajole my Grandpa to come out and ID birds by their songs and we learned how to use ID guidebooks.

I really looked forward to that cool uniform of the boyscouts.  But the troop was all Catholic and I was odd man out.  Never felt like I belonged.  It wasn't until I joined the service that I regained my appreciation of the discipline of a uniform.

Boy, I sure could've used some discipline in the early seventies.  LOL.

Oddly enough I kept all my handbooks for years and learned from them.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 08:28:34 AM by madmax »
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2013, 08:43:01 AM »
I will say this about the Cub Scouts, the requirements they present you with suck (for a lack of a better word). They are very much arts and craft oriented. However, I use the requirements and electives as a base suggested guide. I by no means follow them to the letter. I will go back to what I said in a previous post, you get out what you put in. My boys, which are Cub Scouts went camping, and I mean camping without any electricity, plumbing, etc. as Tigers (six year olds). On the trips we went hiking, fishing and every archery. The same is on the agenda for an upcoming trip. Another example, one of the requirements this year was about emergency preparedness, the book suggest discussing what to do in case of a fire, stranger scenarios, power outages, etc.  I took it a step further. We dicussed this chapter, with hands on tutorial right after Hurricane Sandy. Us living in one of the hardest hit areas we had plenty of first hand knowledge of what went on and how to deal with it. We went through emergency supplies, first aid, modified "Go Bags", and how to use all of the items contained. They loved every minute of it.

I personally see no reason why Cub Scouts cannot handle more than what is presented to them in the handbooks. I know I teach my boys more than whats in there and they rrespond to it extremely well. Not to beat a dead horse, but the Scouts, especially Cub Scouts, are what the leaders put into it.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 09:09:46 AM by Nelson »
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2013, 09:06:16 AM »
I personally see no reason why Cub Scouts cannot handle more than what is presented to them in the handbooks. I know I teach my boys more than whats in there and they rrespond to it extremely well. Not to beat a dead horse, but the Scouts, especially Cub Scouts, are what the leaders put into it.

I, totally, agree.  The scouts get out what the leaders put in to it.  I did similar with the E-prep scenarios with kits etc.  The kids loved it. 

Madmax:  Your Cub Scouts sounded like what they should all be like. 
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2013, 04:02:06 PM »
Tonight at our Troop meeting is Court of Honor.  Our scouts will be handed their rank cards and merit badges in front of their parents and friends.  (They, actually, given their ranks and badges as they earn them but tonight is the formal receiving in a nice semi-formal setting in front of their parents etc.)

It should be a good evening.  :)
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2013, 02:30:32 PM »
Anything interesting in the scouting world?
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2013, 07:34:56 PM »
Got a blue n gold coming up followed by a pinewood derby a few weeks later.  Not much else right now over here.
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2013, 09:14:35 PM »
I will be going to a handful of Blue and Gold Dinners as a guest from the OA.  The OA youth perform several Arrow of Light Ceremonies and Crossovers for the local packs.  I like the delicious meals.  :)
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2013, 06:51:56 AM »
I have been assisting the youth with OA (Order of the Arrow) elections at the local troops and, also, transporting costumes etc for the OA ceremonial team (the team that does ceremonies for the cub scouts for their Arrow of Lights and Crossovers).

Any one doing anything interesting?  Any good training courses taken etc?

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2013, 04:20:02 PM »
Does anyone deal with or know of a unit that runs improperly and frustrates the heck out of you?
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2013, 04:58:38 AM »
Matt the preacher at my church asked me if I could get with the SM. he suggested maybe I'd like to be outings coordinator.  I think we call that voulentold. LOL but I told him I'd like to help out so I'm meeting with him Sunday at the church BBQ. Sounds like he just needs a few bodies that can take over setting up and helping with the camp outs. Told the Padre that's perfect for me.

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Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2013, 06:05:00 AM »
Matt the preacher at my church asked me if I could get with the SM. he suggested maybe I'd like to be outings coordinator.  I think we call that voulentold. LOL but I told him I'd like to help out so I'm meeting with him Sunday at the church BBQ. Sounds like he just needs a few bodies that can take over setting up and helping with the camp outs. Told the Padre that's perfect for me.
Gotta watch them preachers - they'll "voluntold" you every time!


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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #42 on: March 02, 2013, 06:29:26 AM »
It always a good thing. Besides I'm not gonna argue with his boss. I need all the fire insurance I can get.

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #43 on: March 02, 2013, 08:09:18 AM »
Swamp:  I am glad that you are helping out with your local unit.  I know you know your outdoor skills very well.  I have seen around this area that many of the Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters don't know there outdoor skills very well if at all.  This obviously makes it extremely hard to pass these skills on to the scouts.

It appears that I will be hosting a District wide outdoor program to help younger scouts to learn their outdoor skills.  This will enable them to ultimately achieve their ranks up to First Class.  We will be going over everything from knife safety, outdoor cooking, knots and lashings and most, definitely, fire making.  It pains me so much to see kids and adults try to light a fire with thick logs and lighter fluid. 

The program will be similar to what is offered at many boy scout summer camps usually for the younger scouts.  Some places call it Pathfinders or some other similar type name.
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2013, 08:59:52 AM »
Leading the Leaders is a great concept. I teach Blacksmithing to the scouts as part of their Metal Working merit badge and the looks on those kids faces are priceless, give them a red hot sparking piece of steel and show them how to make something with it.
The leadership sux sometimes, to many moms involved where a dad should be is my impression.
Last time out we (the blacksmiths) were there early and set up, the lady that we had been corresponding with somehow neglected to set it up for the kids. They were in the building right next to us making paper airplanes instead of learning how to use a tool.
First time thats happend though, all the other times we have had a bunch of kids willing to get in there and learn. Most of them had never even held a hammer.
Good on you guys/Dads for participating.
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #45 on: March 02, 2013, 09:18:25 AM »
Well I'm sure ill be back I for plenty of advice. I can the woods it's 50 kids in a general location I'm worried about.  ???

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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #46 on: March 02, 2013, 09:54:03 AM »
Swamp, here is some advise before the outing have a patrol leader meeting.  Tell the patrol leaders what is expected of them and their patrols for the outing including codes of conduct.  Tell them if some reason they can't control the patrol then they should contact the Assistant Scoutmaster.  If the adults let the patrols run by the patrol method, then the boys tend to mature faster and keep things in the patrol running like they should be running.
The Scoutmaster is there to guide (NOT LEAD) and then let the patrol leader to take over and lead the patrol.  if things are going wrong then the Scoutmaster later takes the patrol in the PLC (Patrol Leaders Council) and advises him how things should have been and let him realize the error of his ways and explain how things could be better.  The boy will usually realize that he made a mistake and then will learn from it and teach the patrol not to do things.  Part of learning as a Boy Scout is being allowed to fail.  You must realize that failing in a safe environment (not being criticized but "built up") is a valuable learning experience but once the youth fails he needs to still accomplish what he has set out to do. 

When the scoutmaster can sit back and drink coffee then he has done his job because the boys are running things like they are supposed to be running things and that includes passing on all the scout skills that they have learned, too.

The Patrol Method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. The patrol, not the adults, make most of the decision including electing the patrol leader. The patrol method places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where members can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through elected representatives.


"  The patrol method is not a way to operate a Boy Scout troop, it is the ONLY way.
Unless the patrol method is in operation, you don't really have a Boy Scout troop.  " 
 
 Robert Baden-Powell

"  One of our methods in the Scout movement for taming a hooligan is to appoint him head of a Patrol. He has all the necessary initiative, the spirit and the magnetism for leadership, and when responsibility is thus put upon him it gives him the outlet he needs for his exuberance of activity, but gives it in a right direction.  "   
 Robert Baden-Powell, from Are Our Boys Degenerating?, ca. 1918


Note:
Lord Robert Baden-Powell was the founder of the Boy Scout Movement
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 10:29:49 AM by MATT CHAOS »
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #47 on: March 02, 2013, 11:52:05 AM »
I wholeheartedly agree with everything you just posted there, Matt!  I've been seen both methods tried by different Scoutmasters and unless it's done Baden-Powell's way, it's chaos and bedlam from start to finish!  ALL the work falls upon the Scoutmaster's shoulders and troop failure is the end result if he tries to do it all himself! :-\
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Re: Boy Scout Leader's Coffee Corner.
« Reply #48 on: March 02, 2013, 02:21:27 PM »
Great info I'll know more in the next few weeks. Thanks guys.

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