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The Accidental Coach

What are your Scouts working on? (Boys & Girls)

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2 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

My post went poof! Write down everything you do. Packing list for Court of Honor? Save it. List of how many sodas sell at rodeo depending on temp? Save it. And ask your out-going folks to do the same. You may not do the same stuff, but a starting point is a wonderful gift. 

 

This is so true! Just this week we were reviewing our figures for selling soda floats at our charter's Easter event -- 2 years of records with 2 different types of weather and we have a good roadmap for what we need to buy this year.

We keep a special events folder in our dropbox for each troop year and put all the planning and schedule and gear list, etc. documents in there for future reference.

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25 minutes ago, Laurel-in-CA said:

We keep a special events folder in our dropbox for each troop year and put all the planning and schedule and gear list, etc. documents in there for future reference.

Love the dropbox suggestion! Brilliant. Definitely doing this.

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4 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

Love the dropbox suggestion! Brilliant. Definitely doing this.

We have 7 or 8 years worth of records in dropbox: forms, board meeting minutes, flyers, etc. And keep our yearly budget there too on a specially designed spreadsheet. We use a separate program for tracking badges/service hours and gmail for troop communications. Dropbox has been GREAT!

It was especially helpful during the 2017 fires in our area when board members were evacuated all over the place....our treasurer records burned up in somebody's house, but we were able to recover most of it from online stuff.

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We use Troop Track for record- keeping (badges, service hours, awards) and general communication.

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8 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

We use Troop Track for record- keeping (badges, service hours, awards) and general communication.

 

We keep lists of prospects and former members to invite to big events in gmail, and that's also where we handle inquiries about the troop. It seems so much simpler than TT, which we keep just for the scouting stuff.

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20 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

My post went poof! Write down everything you do. Packing list for Court of Honor? Save it. List of how many sodas sell at rodeo depending on temp? Save it. And ask your out-going folks to do the same. You may not do the same stuff, but a starting point is a wonderful gift. 

 

Thankfully the outgoing leaders are still going to be around next year. But I already intended to start a binder and keep notes on everything we do -- for my own future use if not that of future leaders.   I'm really good at administrative tasks.  Not so much organization. But If I have a place to keep things I can put things there and keep up with them so I'm trying to set up good systems to start with. We have good notes going back about three years of our leaders' meetings to start with. 

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18 hours ago, Laurel-in-CA said:

 

This is so true! Just this week we were reviewing our figures for selling soda floats at our charter's Easter event -- 2 years of records with 2 different types of weather and we have a good roadmap for what we need to buy this year.

We keep a special events folder in our dropbox for each troop year and put all the planning and schedule and gear list, etc. documents in there for future reference.

 

Who owns the drop box? How do you ensure it gets kept from year to year?

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Ran into a major hurdle with PokeMan's Eagle Project... we turned in paperwork to get fundraising approved (still live in Italy, on the Navy Base).  Legal said they'd get back to us, and forgot, went in to follow up today, and was told they've decided they are only allowing one food fundraiser per week at the Capo base (this is down from no limits 4 years ago to 2 breakfasts or 2 lunches 2 years ago, to now just one -- this is a BIG base -- car washes and bagging only go so far for the high school, scouts (girls/boys), swim teams and all of the various service organizations, ball funds, chief mess....).  So, we're trying to go for plan B, but no one in the Legal Office is around again until next week.  Blech.  I don't know why they keep making this more difficult.  

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My DS got the council approval for his Eagle project last week. He is planning on cleaning up a long neglected town playground. Now he need to start on his fundraising. I think he is just planning to ask for donations from community groups and a sort of local charity foundation.    I am intentionally jot very envolved, so I don't know all the details, but I am really happy that it is coming together for him. He won't turn 18 until June of 2020, so he has plenty of time to finish it and his last required merit badge. 

This is going to be a big Scout summer for him, but it will make up for not getting to do the Philmont trek last summer because of the fire. He is attending a session at Sea Base in late June as a fill in with a unit from Another state. Then he will attend the International Jamboree in late July.  It his his last summer to be a kid. 

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2 hours ago, City Mouse said:

My DS got the council approval for his Eagle project last week. He is planning on cleaning up a long neglected town playground. Now he need to start on his fundraising. I think he is just planning to ask for donations from community groups and a sort of local charity foundation.    I am intentionally jot very envolved, so I don't know all the details, but I am really happy that it is coming together for him. He won't turn 18 until June of 2020, so he has plenty of time to finish it and his last required merit badge. 

This is going to be a big Scout summer for him, but it will make up for not getting to do the Philmont trek last summer because of the fire. He is attending a session at Sea Base in late June as a fill in with a unit from Another state. Then he will attend the International Jamboree in late July.  It his his last summer to be a kid. 

Good for him. Remind him to do the fundraising application to his Council if he'll be doing fundraising. And congrats!

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So my Scout drove about 40min/miles to turn in his Eagle Scout Project Proposal and the woman at the desk told him, "That doesn't get dropped off here."   Thankfully, son did not drive home. Instead he called me from his car. I encouraged him to call his Scoutmaster. After some back and phone calls between the Scoutmaster and council, the women appears in the parking lot and agrees to take his Proposal.

Rumor has it that the council is taking at least 6 weeks to return proposals.  I swear Eagle Scout projects give me gray hair.

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1 hour ago, amyx4 said:

So my Scout drove about 40min/miles to turn in his Eagle Scout Project Proposal and the woman at the desk told him, "That doesn't get dropped off here."   Thankfully, son did not drive home. Instead he called me from his car. I encouraged him to call his Scoutmaster. After some back and phone calls between the Scoutmaster and council, the women appears in the parking lot and agrees to take his Proposal.

Rumor has it that the council is taking at least 6 weeks to return proposals.  I swear Eagle Scout projects give me gray hair.

That's absurd! I'm dreading dealing with a BIG Council in a few weeks. I like our little one: Scout calls, we discuss, he pulls together his proposal, gets the signatures, and emails it to me. I download, sign, scan, and send it back. Done!

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On 3/28/2019 at 6:54 AM, vonfirmath said:

 

Who owns the drop box? How do you ensure it gets kept from year to year?

Dropbox account belongs to the troop. We have some general folders (Level Awards, Ceremonies) and then yearly folders with special events, badge stuff that we do, schedules, etc. And some photos, altho' most of those are now on the troop's private FB page.

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My son is still trying to finish his Eagle project. He first starting planning it a year and a half ago and I'm glad he started early! Everything has taken so long. Getting a meeting with the beneficiary, picking one of the projects they had available, getting the paperwork approved, fundraising the $1200 he needed, and actually getting enough people together to do the project have all taken much more time than they should. He finally got a big part of it done, but it's a pretty big project. I think 3 more work days are needed and the project will be done. Nicer weather will make it much easier to plan work days. Getting paperwork approved, finishing up a few things on Citizenship in the Community, and the Board of Review will still be needed, but it seems possible for him to be able to finish it by fall.

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I have been quiet because I wasn't sure how many of our plans were going to actually get done.

Yesterday was the final board of reviews / badge signoffs for this AHG year.  So here's where we're at:

Kid 1, 1st year Pioneer:

  • Earned 1 badge - Citizenship and Government.  She is close on Our Flag and partway done on several others.  But only 1 to be awarded at crossover.
  • I'm hoping she earned 1 service star.  The tracker of hours has a different total than I have, so I hope he updates it.
  • Earned 1 sports pin - Running.  Could have done others, but getting her ready for sign-off just did not happen.
  • Will get the 300 hour (red?) disk for additional work on her gymnastics pin.
  • Helped design and will lead the younger girls in the flag ceremony at crossover.

Kid 2, last year Explorer:

  • Earned her Lewis and Clark award.
  • I think she will get the Presidential Service Award (and a bunch of service stars).
  • (She had a bunch of unfinished badges, but I did not push her to finish any as she already had enough for the level award.)

Tomorrow we are helping at one of the girls' Stars and Stripes party.  Kid 2 is doing a scrapbooking station there as one of her Lewis and Clark requirements.  I think it should be fun and hopefully inspiring to the younger girls.

I opened up the discussion of how we can reformat AHG logistics for the PiPas, as meeting on school/work nights is just not going to work for us.  I asked if we could do any or all of the following:

  • Do meetings / badge work / requirements over the summer (though the troop meets during the school year only).
  • Meet on Saturdays instead of Thursdays.
  • Meet at a different mutually convenient location (vs. the church where the troop meets, which is a half hour drive for me & the other PiPa leader).
  • Meet less than biweekly.
  • Meet electronically some of the time.

If we can find a plan that works for the PiPas and their parents, then I think my family will continue and do our best.  Otherwise I'm not sure what we can do.  I don't want to drop out all together.  I would like to at least leave the option open to get more active in the future.  But with the requirement for all parents to volunteer, I don't know how that would work.

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My kids are pretty much coasting for the next few weeks. 

Ds has his AoL and is camping this weekend. Crossover is at the end of April.

Dd will have her BoR in two weeks, then get her Harriet Tubman and crossover to Patriot in May. She will get the presidential service award too. A hike, some orienteering, and Camporee coming up soon. She signed up to do Home Care and Repair, Outdoor Skills, Pen and Paper Arts, and Cake Decorating badges at camp. 

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My Ds crossed over to Boy Scouts last night! Very exciting. (also a little sad to see my baby growing up so fast!)  He is so ready for the independence and the boy-led experience. Wednesday, after piano, we will go by the Scout store to get his new shirt, numbers etc. The troop gave him a neckerchief, slide, and book.  We are in just-the-basics school mode here, with short school days, so I'm adding "Read the BSA book" to his daily list. 

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We are wrapping up our year. My Ambassador girl scout is getting awarded her Gold Award in a big ceremony this week. Lots of family is coming for that, so we are really excited!   She just finished her requirements for her Safety Pin. We had an event for scouts of all levels. We had experts come from all kinds of places to teach the scouts of all ages the requirements for their pins. Part of hers as the oldest rank is to teach younger scouts. So she had a table at this event and taught about her two topics and had games for the littles, and got the teens talking about her issue.  This year she hasn't done a lot of badge work, as the Gold took up most of her year. Even though she was approved in the fall, there have been many events with her and all awardees.  She joined the Girl Advisory League this year at council and that also took up a lot of her time. She really enjoyed getting to know the other scouts on that and to learn more and have a say in council activities.  They also started an Astronomy Club at our council this year which she joined. That went perfectly because she had decided on Astronomy for her science this year. They participated in several events with the local Astronomy club and did a lot of labs with a local astronomy teacher in a high school. She also is about halfway through her volunteer hours for a volunteer in scouting pin. She should be able to continue to volunteer in scout events and finish that over the course of next year, so it won't be awarded this year. So she hasn't earned a lot besides her Gold, which is big, but she has been very busy. 

My Senior scout has been working on a journey as her prerequisite to starting work on the Gold next year or the year after. She did the Sow What journey. We still need to do a Take Action project to finish it, so will probably do that over the summer. She also did the Room Makeover badge which was fun. She completed the requirements for her Safety pin at our troop event as well. She has done everything else my older has done this year- Girl Advisory League, Astronomy Club, about halfway through her Volunteering in Scouts pin. But she has earned her Bronze and Silver torch pin for community work for her work in the G.A.L.  My Ambassador scout can't earn it because she hasn't done a journey this year. So if she wants to do a journey next year on top of G.A.L. then she will earn her Gold Torch. 

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I've not posted here in forever. Looks like lots of new Eagles and other awards, congrats to all!

Ds, after much feet dragging, got his Eagle Project approved and a work day is even on the calendar in June. He'll have to work on supplies and such but I think we might see an end in sight.He says he wants to quit after that but still has lots of friends, dh is strongly suggesting that he stays active for a while. He always was all in but this year became somewhat lukewarm and then just not interested, not sure why really, I'm blaming teenage hormones.

Our AHG is ending, after years of our Troop dwindling we are stepping away. We have so few it is not worth the time, effort, and money. We've done recruitment in several different ways without luck, AHG is still an unknown entity where we live and now there are packs that are co-ed too.

And with that said it looks like I'm starting a Girl's Scouts BSA Troop. Dh and I had planned to start one when the news came out they were allowing girl troops but life had been crazy and I stepped back. So, fast forward we've had 2 meetings about a prospective girl's troop, both times there were people who said they wanted to lead and then they don't show up. So, here we are. We're hoping to possibly charter through the church we've been using for AHG. They had a boy's Troop that folded last year (after flailing for a while), so we're hoping they'll be ok with reviving it as a girl's only troop. They are familiar with Scouts, have supplies, a good meeting place, and it is a convenient drive for me. I'll need IOLS training but that is not on the schedule until the fall, there is one this weekend but I had plans already. Dd1 is planning on going to summer camp with the one girl's troop that is going, she's going to check out their meeting tonight (they are 1 hr away from us).

I'm a little nervous but I do have help with starting it, dh and his SM just went through starting a new Troop 2 yrs ago and SM and dh are right there helping already. Being with AHG so long serving on the board and as a unit leader for the entire 7 yrs. I've done every aspect except the chartering paperwork and running fundraising(I've tracked advancement, made schedules, budgets, calendars, opened meetings, closed meetings, planned and led campouts and events). I know the basics of the BSA program, so I'm not coming in entirely blind on that. I imagine I'm going to learn a lot very quickly and wonder what I've gotten myself into, because that is the way these things always go🙂

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1 hour ago, soror said:

I've not posted here in forever. Looks like lots of new Eagles and other awards, congrats to all!

Our AHG is ending, after years of our Troop dwindling we are stepping away. We have so few it is not worth the time, effort, and money. We've done recruitment in several different ways without luck, AHG is still an unknown entity where we live and now there are packs that are co-ed too.

🙂

 

Interesting. We have a ton of girls in our AHG. And more interested every meeting.  The issue is getting parents willing to volunteer and lead girls' groups. We're going to have to be more firm on that next year to prevent burning out our existing leaders.

Edited by vonfirmath
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14 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

Interesting. We have a ton of girls in our AHG. And more interested every meeting.  The issue is getting parents willing to volunteer and lead girls' groups. We're going to have to be more firm on that next year to prevent burning out our existing leaders.

We had a steady amount to start but then we had a small implosion 3.5 yrs ago when the Coordinator resigned mid-year without having chartered us, leaving us hanging and then last year the Cub Scouts who meet at the same church (where we could pull some girls from the families) had a huge decline (from 130 to 30 kids) after they had a changing of leaders. We've busted butt trying to get and keep girls but still yet every time they are looking for BSA or Girl Scouts. We have given it all we had for the last 7 yrs.

Parent involvement is always hard, hard, hard. Especially these days kids are overscheduled and parents are looking more for drop off activities but that doesn't work so well for volunteer ran groups. My husband has been fortunate with their Scout Troop they have had a lot of good leaders and thankfully new ones stepping forward as others have stepped back.

Edited by soror
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1 hour ago, vonfirmath said:

 

Interesting. We have a ton of girls in our AHG. And more interested every meeting.  The issue is getting parents willing to volunteer and lead girls' groups. We're going to have to be more firm on that next year to prevent burning out our existing leaders.

We are holding steady and don't do any advertising or serious recruiting. We have some turnover each year, but not huge growth. Some troops near us are full and cannot accept more girls because they are maxed on both space and leaders.

@soror, I hope your new Scout troop is great! 

Edited by ScoutTN

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I'd love some recruiting ideas. Our AHG/TL group is at a large church but people there sort of expect church activities to be free and are a bit put off when they find out we charge dues and they pay for uniforms. We used to have a local homeschool convention and advertised there, but that has dwindled and died and we are at a loss as to where else to publicize because public schools won't advertise for religious org. and private schools are unwilling to advertise for us as they see it as competition for tuition $$ or else have a GSA troop that they funnel kids to.

Any suggestions?

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We get some good publicity by serving, in uniform, at public events like the county fair, and neighborhood festivals. We get attention when we visit the VA hospital or march in the Veterans day parade. 

 

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Honest question here for other Girl Scouts-  

Perhaps I am wrong but tell me if this is normal for a troop with 6th and 7th graders( 11-13 year olds).  Our meetings seem very odd for this age to me.  Most recent meeting was having the girls grab sticks and use them to paint.  Leader called it nature painting.What activities do other troops with this ages do?  

Edited by itsheresomewhere

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9 minutes ago, itsheresomewhere said:

Honest question here for other Girl Scouts-  

Perhaps I am wrong but tell me if this is normal for a troop with 6th and 7th graders( 11-13 year olds).  Our meetings seem very odd for this age to me.  Most recent meeting was having the girls grab sticks and use them to paint.  Leader called it nature painting.What activities do other troops with this ages do?  

That's an actual badge that was introduced a year or two ago. It's art in nature or something like that. I led a Cadette troop but that badge came out after we'd moved on. Our best badges were forensic science, public speaking, exploring foods and Girl Scout Ways. I think we did about 2/3 of the badges and 2 journeys over the three years.

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17 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

That's an actual badge that was introduced a year or two ago. It's art in nature or something like that. I led a Cadette troop but that badge came out after we'd moved on. Our best badges were forensic science, public speaking, exploring foods and Girl Scout Ways. I think we did about 2/3 of the badges and 2 journeys over the three years.

Not using for the nature badge.  This is going to some art appreciation badge.  For the nature art badge, so many other ways could have been more productive and creative ways to me for this age group and would have fit the requirements.  Somehow the other badge they have earned since October was a cooking badge.  They made sitapons for that.  Still not sure how that is a cooking badge.  

Another question-  at this age, don’t age the Scouts plan the meeting(s) theme and what they want to do?  And do any troops do any financial statements ( like how much on their budget and stuff)?  The girls don’t plan any meetings as the leader still does it and no one has any idea on what the troop has for funds.  

Edited by itsheresomewhere

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We have a big merit badge rally this weekend, and ALL of our new boys are going! It should be a fun day. I managed to get a camp spot for one of the newbies--the family just wouldn't commit.  Monday, we pick mbs for camp in July. 

And the big news--we lose our Council tomorrow. So sad--we've been around 76 years. And we'll lose the 60yo OA Lodge at the end of the year. 

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So ds turned in his Eagle proposal March 21.  He gets an email April 26 saying that the proposal doesn't show enough hours or leadership. The email did mention that there's no standard for hours and the ultimate decision of showing leadership lies with the Troop.  But.....please rewrite and resubmit your proposal.  And oh ya, you're missing the financial page 17.   He turned in page 7-10. How on earth is any reasonable human supposed to guess/assume that page 17 is also needed.

He figured out the problem of hours/leadership. He kept writing "a" fence. When if fact it should say "elevenly-million-miles of fence."  (He's not really building a fence) So it looked like he was just building one of something.  Yesterday, he resubmitted pages 7-10. He needs to get the Beneficiaries signature tomorrow to submit page 17.

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1 hour ago, amyx4 said:

So ds turned in his Eagle proposal March 21.  He gets an email April 26 saying that the proposal doesn't show enough hours or leadership. The email did mention that there's no standard for hours and the ultimate decision of showing leadership lies with the Troop.  But.....please rewrite and resubmit your proposal.  And oh ya, you're missing the financial page 17.   He turned in page 7-10. How on earth is any reasonable human supposed to guess/assume that page 17 is also needed.

He figured out the problem of hours/leadership. He kept writing "a" fence. When if fact it should say "elevenly-million-miles of fence."  (He's not really building a fence) So it looked like he was just building one of something.  Yesterday, he resubmitted pages 7-10. He needs to get the Beneficiaries signature tomorrow to submit page 17.

That extra sig of the beneficiary is a PAIN! Our Council still requires the letter, which makes NO sense, as page 17 has to be signed. Of course, with a new Council TOMORROW, who knows what will be required! I'm still sending registrations to our Council, as the lady is still working for a bit. Not that she ever actually gets them done. We STILL have no charter! The lady here lost pages 2 + 4, and I resubmitted them months ago. No FoS money from us until we have that charter. And the new Crew had a member go missing, who still hasn't been found. Odd, as we couldn't start a new Crew with only 4 members...  We'll resubmit the missing member after Denver takes over. We don't even know if we'll have a District!

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3 hours ago, itsheresomewhere said:

Not using for the nature badge.  This is going to some art appreciation badge.  For the nature art badge, so many other ways could have been more productive and creative ways to me for this age group and would have fit the requirements.  Somehow the other badge they have earned since October was a cooking badge.  They made sitapons for that.  Still not sure how that is a cooking badge.  

Another question-  at this age, don’t age the Scouts plan the meeting(s) theme and what they want to do?  And do any troops do any financial statements ( like how much on their budget and stuff)?  The girls don’t plan any meetings as the leader still does it and no one has any idea on what the troop has for funds.  

The troop has at least two adults involved with the finances. One person does the accounting and the other person receives the bank statements. The girls should know how much money they have to spend and decide which badges they'd like to work on (with the proviso that either they or the adults have to be able to find resources to do the badges, some of them are complicated and you need to find adults with special knowledge willing to come and talk with the girls).

If you're not satisfied with how your leader is running the troop, the best thing you can do is volunteer to help her out.

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12 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

The troop has at least two adults involved with the finances. One person does the accounting and the other person receives the bank statements. The girls should know how much money they have to spend and decide which badges they'd like to work on (with the proviso that either they or the adults have to be able to find resources to do the badges, some of them are complicated and you need to find adults with special knowledge willing to come and talk with the girls).

If you're not satisfied with how your leader is running the troop, the best thing you can do is volunteer to help her out.

That is the problem.  Several of us volunteer/offer to help but the leader doesn’t want input or our help really.  She prefers we watch her other kids instead.  There are massive control issues. The girls have no idea on anything budget related to the troop at all.  

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7 hours ago, itsheresomewhere said:

That is the problem.  Several of us volunteer/offer to help but the leader doesn’t want input or our help really.  She prefers we watch her other kids instead.  There are massive control issues. The girls have no idea on anything budget related to the troop at all.  

Then your only choice is to quit and look for another troop or start your own.

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29 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

Then your only choice is to quit and look for another troop or start your own.

I know that.  But before I try to find a group that will take DD, I want to make sure my expectations are realistic ( budget and stuff) for a troop.  

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7 hours ago, itsheresomewhere said:

That is the problem.  Several of us volunteer/offer to help but the leader doesn’t want input or our help really.  She prefers we watch her other kids instead.  There are massive control issues. The girls have no idea on anything budget related to the troop at all.  

Girl, I feel for you, BTDT I was actually officially the Treasury but she would not hand over any of the books and paperwork. Finally, I had to step down from that position as she refused to turn it over and she got someone else that I guess would just let her do it, it did set us up well at all when she left then I had to fix it, and there were some discrepancies.

We have 2 more meetings for our AHG and a day long hiking trip. All my dd's would be crossing over and 2 are earning level awards, they've earned them so we are giving them, although I don't know if it is worth it!

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My son has never shown any interest in joining Venturing, but last week he joined Sea Scouts! It's a program that nobody seems to know anything about, but he met someone in the 5 member Ship (like a troop) and decided to try it. We do not live near a coast, but any body of water will do and there's a sponsoring boat club near a small local lake. They have kayaks, canoes, and small sailboats. I'm not sure when he'll have time for this, but this is something new for dh and I too.

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Dd1 visited the closest girl's Troop (nearly 1 hr away) and had a good time, she's wanting to go every week but I don't know that we can swing that into our already full Tuesday schedule. Dh went ahead and signed her up for summer camp and I think they even picked out badges to work on. I do need to go up there sometime, I thought about volunteering to stay a couple of nights, especially as we very well could be going to summer camp on our own next year and I've never done a week-long camp, we don't have any where we live for AHG and dh has been the one who has stayed for BSA camps. I ordered her a uniform shirt. I'm going to take her to Academy for pants, she might just take ds hand-me downs if we don't find any others that fit better.

I started work on YPT training, I *just* did it in July but have not done the updated version. 

re: publicity- obviously what we've done has not worked for us but might work for others- we have done parades, we have done flags for veterans and other community service and been in the paper, we've passed out fliers at all the local schools both for sign-up recruitment and special events to bring people in, done recruitment nights at schools (they head straight for GSA- even though our local GSA is crazy unorganized - we had little projects for the kids to do and handed out candy)

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Well I can finally say that we've finished out the year in AHG ... dd2 crossed over to Pioneers with her level award and did win the Presidential service award (Gold level).  She is very proud of it!  My other kid also got the awards we were expecting for her.  Not much, but at least there was something for the announcer to say about her, LOL.  She also had to help plan and coach the flag ceremony and build the bridge.  We also finished assembling the gift scrapbook we made for our troop's recent Stars & Stripes recipient, and transferred the photos to that family.  So many things checked off the to-do list.

Now a new year begins.  I really want to finish 5 badges and a year's worth of volunteer work this summer.  We'll see if it happens.  Turns out all 3 of the Pioneer families live not too far from me, so hopefully it is reasonable to plan some meetings / activities at a convenient time and place for us.  The one Patriot is far away, but she would not probably care to be involved in a lot of what we do, as she has already done most of it before.  That said, I guess we need to have a meeting or something to figure out how to help her get to the next step.  (She is a 3rd year Patriot now.)

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On 5/1/2019 at 6:12 PM, mom2scouts said:

My son has never shown any interest in joining Venturing, but last week he joined Sea Scouts! It's a program that nobody seems to know anything about, but he met someone in the 5 member Ship (like a troop) and decided to try it. We do not live near a coast, but any body of water will do and there's a sponsoring boat club near a small local lake. They have kayaks, canoes, and small sailboats. I'm not sure when he'll have time for this, but this is something new for dh and I too.

If he has the opportunity to attend Sea Scout Academy, he'll be able to fulfill most of the requirements for Apprentice is one long weekend.

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On 5/1/2019 at 5:12 PM, mom2scouts said:

My son has never shown any interest in joining Venturing, but last week he joined Sea Scouts! It's a program that nobody seems to know anything about, but he met someone in the 5 member Ship (like a troop) and decided to try it. We do not live near a coast, but any body of water will do and there's a sponsoring boat club near a small local lake. They have kayaks, canoes, and small sailboats. I'm not sure when he'll have time for this, but this is something new for dh and I too.

Sea Scouting is the best kept secret in Scout BSA! We have a ship based on the CO River. 

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Spent some time today looking into what we can do this summer to get a serious start on the Harriet Tubman award.  My eldest only needs another 12 service hours and to attend 1 more event (unless crossover counts).  Then she needs to mentor / teach a younger unit & put on a multi-troop or community event, probably during the school year and hopefully as a group project with the other girls.  As for badges, I think this is reasonably do-able (by frontier):  [pardon me for thinking aloud]

Heritage - requirement met.  Hold off on finishing the Our Flag badge until 2020-21.  However, we may want to do some of the requirements / optionals, just not all of them.

Family Living - Family Helper.  Both of my girls can do this over the summer just by being a productive member of the family.

Personal Well-Being - Emergency Preparedness.  I signed us up for a first aid & cpr course June 2.  They already have a blackbelt in TKD and should hopefully get their 2nd dan this summer.  That should take care of at least half of the requirements, and the rest can be researched etc.  Other option for my eldest would be Physical Fitness, which should be easy for her, but she could finish this in 2020-21 also.  Or she could do both, but let's not get too greedy.  🙂

Outdoor skills - would like to finish the Outdoor Skills badge (S&S requirement) and get it over with, but could also easily finish the Fire Safety badge as it's already well along for my eldest.  Youngest could easily finish the Horsemanship badge.

Arts - realistically I think Creative Writing is the smartest choice, but if they really want to do something else, whatever.  I think I will insist on them doing the writing stuff anyway.

Science - I want them to do the internet adventure badge as they need to know that stuff anyway.  If they want to do a different badge instead / also, more power to them.

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@SKL

A while ago you sounded ambivalent about AHG, but your recent posts sound more engaged. What caused the change?

Several of our Pioneers have done a Tenderheart badge-in-an-afternoon, open to all local troops but with a limited enrollment, as their multi-troop event. TH badges are short and easy to teach and summer gives everyone more flexibility on time. 

Does your troop do a troop-wide badge each year? Good for the teach a younger unit requirement. 

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1 hour ago, ScoutTN said:

@SKL

A while ago you sounded ambivalent about AHG, but your recent posts sound more engaged. What caused the change?

Several of our Pioneers have done a Tenderheart badge-in-an-afternoon, open to all local troops but with a limited enrollment, as their multi-troop event. TH badges are short and easy to teach and summer gives everyone more flexibility on time. 

Does your troop do a troop-wide badge each year? Good for the teach a younger unit requirement. 

I am willing to try to make AHG work, as long as it can be done mostly in the summer and we don't feel guilted into giving up every other Thursday evening during the school year.  Also, now that I have 2 kids at the same level, I feel like there is more momentum from their side.  My younger kid really wants to do some badges, whereas the other kid didn't seem to care at all last year.

We don't do troop-wide badges.  But I should be able to find out what badges the younger units are planning for next year, and get on their calendar to teach one.  Another idea is to get the kids set up for one of the museum programs that are free here.

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My dd 14 is finishing up her Silver Award project as I'm typing 😉  It's only her second year in scouts, but she's had a great time.  She'll be bridging this year, they're talking about working on a journey next year.. she'll be a high school freshman, do they usually start on Gold Awards after that?  Or is it a couple of years and they start as high school juniors/seniors?  I was in girl scouts when I was teeny tiny, which is so long ago it's ridiculous, and so I'm not at all up to date on how it all works..

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Monday night will (hopefully) decide the fate of our girl's troop at the church. I'm not sure where we'll try if they turn us down. Fingers crossed they don't because that will move things right along. 

I sent the money for dd1 to go to summer camp. I also signed her up for a camp-out/work day in 2 weeks. It is at the camp where she will have summer camp, so she will get acquainted with it before there are a bunch of people there. I will be coming up during the day Saturday so I can observe and learn about Troop life and help out. I've not been to a lot of Troop meetings (as we have AHG at the time).

Monday is our BOR for AHG (and my Explorers are finishing their Outdoor Skills badge) and then next Sat is our last outing (a hike). The 20th is Red, White, and Blue.

Edited by soror
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DS is at his first Sea Scout activity right now. They're spending the day cleaning up around the boathouse and making sure the boats are ready for summer boating and sailing. Now if I can just get him to finish his Eagle Scout project and that last required merit badge before he takes on anything else! I have a feeling this next year (his junior year of high school) is going to be insanely busy.

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My 10yo daughter did her project for her cub Seeonee Award.   Last week she leapt up to Scouts.   We also finished the fundraising for her trip to the States with the troop this summer.

And.....  I'm done.  I hate the new scout program here, and I hate how things are being implemented.   I think the scout leader is great in that he cares about the kids and spends a lot of time and work on scouting, but I'm just not happy with things the last few years.  It is a lot of little things.

Like... my son has volunteered with the Beaver Scouts 5 years now... attending every meeting etc.  First as a "Kim" (a scout that helps younger sections) and this year as a Youth Scouter (Teen age 15-17 that takes all the training that adult scouters do and then works like an adult scouter.)  And my 13yo daughter has 3 years working as a Kim with Beavers or Scouts.  And... no recognition at all.  Not a thank you or mention even when recognizing adult scouters. 

And....  With the new program, it has become "Birthday Party Scouting" in our troop.  The troop leaned that way before, but with the new program, so little is required.  And although the badges are easier in many ways, trying to actually do them is harder.  My kids went from EARNING several badges a year to pretty much earning none.  

There is so much more.... but I'm done.  I no longer want to drive to meetings 2x a week, fundraising, feeling like a freeloader because the troop pays for my kids at things like bowling and laser tag (the troop is great for the no one left out due to finances policy... And my family lives on a disability income)  etc.

Haven't figured out how to convince my husband.  I felt like this last year, but he talked me into registering them again.  And the kids will not be happy.  And I don't have an activity to replace it for my youngest 2.

My oldest (boy) will be 16, and not interested in much of anything anymore...  he is hoping to get a job...

My next (girl) is 13 and also is heavily involved in Air Cadets...

My other girls will be 11 and 9.  They would be old enough to join Navy League Cadets...  but it is the same night and time as the 13yo's Air Cadets, in totally different areas of the city.

Scouts in another group is out in my opinion because of the cost and the program changes.  Girl Guides... Maybe... but I think the cost even with assistance would also be a lot.

Anyway... just needed to talk.

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I would have posted a picture of my daughter leaping up, but another scout photo bombed it... (parents participate, so another person had my phone).

And I would have posted a picture of my daughter getting her Seeonee Award....  except they made no Ceremony of mention of it, except handing her a stack of crests/badges for her campfire blanket and scout uniform. 

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I got the camp mbs registered--yay! I didn't have a birthdate for one Scout, so ended up just picking a date. The spots were filling quickly. I'll fix it later. And I think I have an Eagle Board of Review put together for tomorrow. We're doing it at Callout and Crossover campout--pray the weather clears. It's currently snowing. Again. Ds's first Crossover we got 18"! I found a headdress for the OA. I really do need to finish the one ds started, as our part of the Chapter could really use it. We have 3 Crew members, + me for Callout, and one Scout from the troop.

I'm meeting with the new Council guy on Tuesday. He's an Assistant Field Director. Sort of a Senior District Executive on steroids. We haven't even had a DE for years. And Wednesday we have a big community service project. Unfortunately, it's at the ski town up the road and NONE of those boys can make it. Bummer. 

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On 5/6/2019 at 12:18 AM, scoutingmom said:

I would have posted a picture of my daughter leaping up, but another scout photo bombed it... (parents participate, so another person had my phone).

And I would have posted a picture of my daughter getting her Seeonee Award....  except they made no Ceremony of mention of it, except handing her a stack of crests/badges for her campfire blanket and scout uniform. 

 

Im so sorry scoutingmom

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