Transitioning Talk

Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Transitioning Talk
8
Tue, 01-15-2013 - 12:41pm

So the Scout Master is finishing his term on Thursday night at summer camp.  I don't know if that is a tradition with the troop, but it seems like a weird time to me. Anyway, I think the main ass't scout master is taking over.  At one point it was said that he was going to be unable to due to his job, but I guess that isn't the case now.  I'm not sure who is going to step in as the main ass't when the time comes. 

The Scout Master's wife does a ton of paperwork. She does most of the coordinating for events, has the med forms, attends Roundtable, runs the monthly newletter, keeps the website up to date, is the summer camp coordintor, is coordinating the 2014 Philmont trek, and sends out the weekly updates.  She's wanting to transition most of the stuff over to other adults.  There are 50+ boys in the troop & I can't think of anyone who is going to take on what she does.  I wouldn't mind taking on a few of the jobs AFTER I get out of the pack, but right now I just can't swing being at pack meetings & doing more scout work. It surprises me that they are wanting to be done since their youngest son is only in 8th grade.  All I can figure is that he turns 14 this summer and is getting close to Eagle.  I am guessing he will head over to the Venture Crew soon???

When D transitions to the troop I agreed to take advancement if someone doesn't take it before then.  I just keep hoping the mom doing it now will stick with it.  Her boy is already an Eagle & a junior.  She's at meetings even when he isn't able to be there.  I guess she wants to be done with it now, but there isn't anyone to take it.  50+ scouts and keeping up with rank advancements & scheduling board of reviews is work. 

I have a list of positions that need to transition in the Pack.  We also have a ton of adults on the roster who never did complete all of the required training that will be dumped.  DH and I agreed to be Pack CC and Cub Master for one more year.  We want to finish up at recharter (Feb 2014).  At that time he will be done except for BALOO and I will be just a den leader until D crosses over!!!  Can I just saw WOW?  I'm not sure if that will work, but I'm hoping we can get someone to take it on then.  :)

 

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Sat, 01-19-2013 - 10:56pm

I agree- don't take anything at the troop level until you are out of the pack.  Or get out of the pack level stuff now (except den leader and baloo) and give up all you do for the pack and get on board now with the troop.  Either way- pretty much just stick to one or the other.  The one mom in our pack was going to take something, but she went straight to treasurer for the troop, so she only comes to meetings for the den/pack and doesn't do or plan anything.

That being said- I made my troop aware of an opportunity for a Merit Badge University at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh that they didn't have on their schedule and apparently didn't know about.  I told them the March dates back at the end of October and they all said what a wonderful opportunity it was.  I forwarded them the registration forms in early November and told them it was first come first served and it was for around 450 scouts or so depending upon how many merit badge counselors they get.  They kept asking me questions and I kept referring them to the university students (a service fraternity called Alpha Phi Omega) who run the program.  They talked about it at the Nov/Dec/and Jan committee meetings and finally decided that they should put out an interest form to the boys.  And as it turns out- the program is full- filled up by mid-December.  I just want to shout "I told you so."

As far as positions that need taken over:

in the troop- I'm guessing advancement and registration for some things because the boys mother who takes care of this, he just made eagle scout.  beyond that, I don't know what needs done.  It's going to be a weird troop though with 4-5 eagle scouts who attend most stuff, 17 or 18 boys who joined the troop in 2012, and only 5 who are between the new ones and eagle scouts... and the one definately has some major issues.  He's been in for a long time and still hasn't made 1st class!  And it was apparent when he burned himself on a dutch oven and tried to hide it and then later he refused to participate in any activities for the rest of the day.  They have got all these newer boys lumped together and really are catering to the slowest and the ones who don't attend very much.  I know it's a good idea to review stuff, but enough is enough!  And the communication among adult leadership is rather poor.  I'm trying to make the best of the situation and make this a good enough experience for my son who joined the troop to be with his friends.  I don't know that my younger son will join this same troop.  I just don't know.

And as for the pack- we just rechartered in December, so we are good for the year.  I hope that the 5 boys we have will all stay and recharter for the following year as well.  That will be good enough to get 4 of them through Webelos level.  I've also brokered some alliances with 2 other (not very close) packs and I am getting us invited to several things that they are doing... it pays to be nice to other adult leaders who show the same level of commitment as you do!  So, in my head- this will all work out well and we just have to figure out how to deal with the 1 boy who is left (currently a wolf).  Maybe he can come to troop stuff while working on his webelos stuff and move up as soon as he either reaches the age or the arrow of light requirments?  I know the lady from our district said she is going to do a fabulous recruitment for our pack this spring.  I'm not too keen on that because it will mean more work on my part and I feel like I've already done a LOT!  She said the cubmaster could run the den with the new kids (maybe tigers), but that' won't go over well because he is in scouts for his son and at this point, adding new kids to our pack won't help any of our current boys.  Everyone still tells me that it's just a cycle and we will be drowning in kids again... I just don't see it happening!

-Jen

Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Sun, 01-20-2013 - 5:12pm

Can I just say that I don't want to be drowing in boys without other people to be the leaders? I get that it is a cycle & that you can't get new leaders without new boys, but we've also gotten new boys WITHOUT getting new leaders.  Ya know???

I've tried responding to your post about the camp out several times.  For some reason it keeps timing out or will not open a response box.  Mostly it sounds like the camp out worked out well for the boys, but frustrating for you scince the times were so messed up and you were so busy running with the family.  How did the school dance turn out?

I would be so frustrated about the Merit Badge University.  Did you get your son in?

I really just want to be rid of running anything to do with the pack other than taking care of the den & Day Camp.  Even Day Camp might be able to be dumped sooner.  We have a lady stepping up to shadow this year.  If she stays with it and we can find the 2nd director for the following year my co-director and I can step back and just run an area vs. being directors...

I know I didn't post that I have been asked to help with the NCAP (National Camping Accreditation Program) for the Council.  I asked for the steering committee info and then I will decide.  I kinda need to know when they are meeting before I can answer. 

 

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 9:36am

I didn't try to get my son into MBU.  The troop now has other things scheduled for those days- hikes to prepare for a trip to Ohiopyle, and something else I don't remember. 

So, besides MBU, there was also merit badges offered at the 171st Air Refueling Wing- each troop was allowed to reserve up to 10 spots, to a max of 275 for the day in May.  The troop asked me to do this and I was successful.  My daughter and I were both standing by right at 7pm Sunday night to get the spots when the reservation site went live- she would reserve the 9 I needed for my Girl Scout troop and I would get the 10 for the Boy Scout troop.  Well, within 1 minute, all spots were gone for Saturday!  We were lucky.  So, I e-mail the troop and tell them that I got them the 10 spots and that they needed to identify the 10 boys who would be able to go (but that since I was going, I wanted Sean to have a spot).  They sent an e-mail to everyone saying that there were 10 spots on a first come, first served basis and the older boys in the troop would defer to the younger groups.  However, that same day, they scheduled a merit badge class at Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Pittsburgh to do the Citizinship in the Community Merit badge.  So, of course that's an Eagle required one and Sean wants to do whatever he can to advance, so now he's going to go there while I go to the other place with my Girl Scouts.  It would have been nice to be 2 different weekends or to have me reserve spots at the 171st for Sunday so the boys could be able to do both.

So, I talked to the scout leader last night and he said that with these series of hikes they are going to do starting this weekend, they are starting with 3 miles on a flat track and working up to 6 miles in under 2 1/2 hours (I think that was the number) to qualify to go on the Ohiopyle hike this spring.  And while doing these hikes, they would meet many 2nd and 1st class requirments, talk about navigation, work on hiking/physical fitness/ camping/ and another merit badge all at the same time.  I guess their plan is that if a kid shows success in doing something for one merit badge, he can use that same thing for duplicate requirements in other merit badges?  That's kinda baffling to me, but then again, our scoutmaster knows everything because he got trained in wilderness survival and all kinds of stuff before going to Philmont, so he knows everything.

Ok- I need to break out of my grumbling and negative thinking now.  This is all good stuff, it really is.  I'm just not so sure that the way some of it is being taken care of (scheduling, paperwork, documentation, etc.) by the adults is the way it should be done... and I'm not going to step on their toes right now.

And about getting new kids without getting new leaders- yes, that happens all the time!  I don't want that to happen.  It can't happen.  It won't work and nobody will be happy with scouts- including the new kids.  We don't want to work with new kids (besides maybe a once or twice).  We want to work with our own kids.  The cubmaster doesn't want to work with the new kids- he's only cubmaster since there is NOBODY else.  

And as for camp- maybe you don't even need to run a station until your boys are completely out of cubs.  Wouldn't it be nice to just go and be with your pack, with your own kid for the day?  I hope you find someone else to take over the camp director position now.  That would be awesome, then you can lead them into making it successful in the future and telling them the hints and tricks you have already learned.  And as for NCAP- you may enjoy that, if the timing works out right.  You wouldn't be dealing too much with parents and kids for this, except maybe interviews, and visits to the camps to see them running.  You have great ideas and having already worked with kids in the trenches, you know what kinds of things may work and what would be futile to consider.  Good Luck with that!

-Jen

Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 10:13am
I can't get over that the troop would schedule two different merit badge classes on the same day. Of course, all of the boys will want the Eagle required one. Have the pre-reqs been released for Citizenship in the Community? I'm curious how much of the merit badge will be covered at the class and how much will be homework. That's the one that requires community service hours, watching a movie, reserching an issue in your community, etc. Things that would be hard to pull off in one day. J's troop will not allow double dipping when it comes to scouts, but the kids can double dip for scouts / school where things overlap. I can't even comment on the rest without being a grump. It all frustrates me and makes me crazy.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 1:53pm

171st update:

So, I go to the last Boy Scout meeting with my list of 10 spaces and the class options for the 171st.  I find out that only 2 parents have notified the Committee Chair that their son would like to go to the 171st.  So, we explain to the boys what it is and see who wants to go (all younger guys raise hands but 2).  So we take them into a room and tell about the classes and have all of them make their top 3 choices.  So, if all boys would get the ok from their parents, we would have 11.  Dr. K. said that was fine- he could just call and ask for the extra space since "they owe him" because he teaches the wilderness first aid class for adults there every year... and they probably do owe him- but not necessarily after all the spots are taken (it should have been arranged beforehand).  So, we ask the parents who come in to pick up their kids and I find the rest of the parents the next day at teacher conferences and all 11 boys are able to go.  So I text the scoutmaster and the dr and tell them that we will need the extra space and I was going to input the 10 boys and leave off one of the dr's. own son's since he would know what his own son wanted for class options.  He said no- don't do that because he's not sure that he can get the 11th spot and just leave off whomever was last to rsvp.  As it turns out, I talked to 2 parents at the same time in the hall, so there was no 11th kid... and it's not like any of them (besides the original 2) who acutally took it upon themselves to tell us their kid could go.  The scoutmaster doesn't respond during this transaction.  I e-mail him the next day and he tells me he was so mad in reading the stuff on the text that he didn't respond and that I should wait for a few hours while he has a discussion with the dr.  I told him that I never thought we should have opened it up to the 11th boy, but my solution would be to call and talk to the one boy who's parent did rsvp and ask him to go with the older boys (he's one who has the drive to make eagle).  His mom was happy to have him switch.  So, I input the 10 boys and their class choices.  Crisis averted.  Only problem is that I need to have another parent drive kids over and stay the day- and since it's a military base, I need to know who now-ish.  But except for the doc who will be teaching the wilderness survival class all day (and be unavailable), the scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster, and the old assistant scoutmaster (who mostly works with the 5 older boys now) are all taking their kids (and my son and this other boy who switched) to the Soldiers and Sailors Hall for the other merit badge day (so, basically just leaders kids).  That leaves NO scouting adult to be on the base- it will have to be a parent (with youth protection and all that- or they can take it that day while there).

So, I had reserved the 9 spots for my girls- they all responded except the new mom who caught me after school one day and asked about it.  They all chose their classes, and they have mostly paid... No problems, no chaos, no grief.  And I got a mom to help drive.

Oh- and a tidbit to add since it's not enough for it's own post... we had our Mall Show for Boy Scouts this past weekend.  Council had been getting troops/packs to sign up for a table since November- and asking what they were going to do- a belt loop, a tent/camp display, teaching knots, or whatever.  So, the scoutmaster sent an e-mail to the troop on Thursday night asking who was going to go and if they got enough, they would set up a table and show how to do knots and lashings.  (Mall Show was Saturday morning).  Not a very timely e-mail... and I don't think that the mall would have been happy with the district if they had requested a change in the set up after the plans were already submitted!  But Ian did race and got out after 4 runs.  He was happy since he got done sooner.  Sean raced in the Boy Scout pineknot derby (1 pound cars) and he got 6th place!  I think he was pretty happy for that!  Well, gotta get ready for scouts tonight.  Girls after school, then bball practice, then Cubs and Boys tonight.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Thu, 02-07-2013 - 11:47am
I'm glad you were able to get everything worked out with the merit badge class, but I'm not sure if my blood pressure could take the stress I would feel with the way things are being run. I think the mall derby sounds like fun. We have a small district derby each year. Typically fewer scouts are there than what we have at our pack derby & they only drop each car once in each lane. D doesn't want to attend this year. I'm ok with that. It's one less thing we have to fit in.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Wed, 03-13-2013 - 1:44pm

Well... now it's March 13th.  We've had several weeks of scouts and some events since I last checked in.

On a pre-hike (6 1/2 mile practice hike in preparation for a hiking trip to Ohiopyle) I was talking with the 2 leaders hiking with the group- the scoutmaster and the assistant who works mainly with the boys above 1st class.  As it turns out, the merit badge that they scheduled for the other boys the same day as the 171st is American Heritage and not Cit. in the Community.  So, not even an eagle required one.  That Sean's reason for choosing that one... and the reasoning I gave to the mom who's son I had give up his spot for the 171st.  Nobody told us.  And the guy who got it wrong is the Committee Chair- who I find out is actually a Cit. in the Community merit badge counselor... why would the other adults not have caught that mistake before all the e-mails and sign ups?  As far as I know- no mention of this change in badges has been said to the boys.  And the kicker is- anyone who went to the fall camporee already started that badge (unbeknownst to me!- how's that for a cool word to use!)

I guess this is why it's dad's that deal with Boy Scouts and not moms because it's getting rather frustrating to me, but I'm sure most dad's would just shake it off.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Tue, 03-19-2013 - 6:42pm
I have to laugh about your last sentence. FWIW, I spend way too much time frustrated on so many different levels when it comes to scouting. I know things will still frustrate me when I step away from the Cub Pack and Day Camp, but I really am looking forward to having them off my plate.
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