Monthly Archives: June 2011

What is going on?

cancelledToday I had to cancel a Troop camping weekend due to a lack of adults.  This isn’t the first time this has happened to us this year.  Actually, we haven’t gone camping yet this year, and it’s the middle of June.  I don’t understand what’s going on.  I think one was due to expense, but the others – and here’s the kicker – have been due to a lack of adult help.  That’s right, it’s been just me willing to take the boys out and that just can’t happen under the BSA flag.  My wife is willing as well, but that is still a no-no for youth protection training.

So what’s going on?  I think part of it is that for the last 6 years, myself and one other registered adult went on everything.  There was never a worry about adult leadership at outings because her and I would always be there.  Well, now that’s changing.  I’m involved in baseball, and the other leader’s boys aren’t as active as they once were.  So now I’m seeing the results of having the ‘usual suspects’ take care of everything for so long.  And I have to say, I’m not impressed.

So now I have to think on how to fix this.  We have a mandatory Troop meeting on Monday to go over summer camp stuff, and I think since we’ll have everyone there it would be a good time to address this issue as well.  Question is, how do I address it without coming off like a jerk (I’m known to be more than a little rough around the edges and not worry too much about offending)?  Any suggestions you folks have would be appreciated.  I really am getting concerned that without more parental involvement, our unit might just fall apart due to a lack of outdoor programming – not because we don’t want to, but because we’re just unable to.

Chime in please, I could use some advice on how to handle this one.  Thanks all!

From the Northwoods of Minnesota, where the mosquitos can carry you away at dusk…



Do you meet in the summer?

Troop meetings.  The cornerstone of any Boy Scout Troop.  Some units meet all year round, while others meet only during the school year, just like Cub Scouts.  What does your Troop do?

When our Troop first started, I had complete control over whether or not we met in the summer, and in my opinion it was really important the keep the meetings going as the boys were all greenhorns and needed to work on basic Scouting skills and techniques.  But the last couple of years I have left it up to the boys how they want to do it, and let the PLC make that decision versus myself.

Last summer, they wanted to try and only have one meeting a month in the summer (for the record, our ‘summer’ is defined as June, July and August).  So, we held one meeting a month, and only had a PLC every other month.  The thought there was that everyone seemed to be so very busy in the summer with everything under the sun, that maybe if we scaled it back a bit there would be more participation at the meetings we did have.  That didn’t work out so well.

This year I left it up to the PLC again, and this time they decided that they want to just keep the meeting schedule the same as during the rest of the year.  I can’t say that I blame them.  Their thinking this time around was that if you missed a meeting in the summer last year, you went basically 2 months without a Scout meeting, and they didn’t like that huge gap between meetings.  Granted, we’d have separate planning meetings for our outings and such, but those weren’t Troop meetings.

I personally have a tough time understanding how some Troops can still operate without Troop meetings in the summer.  To me, summer is the ideal time to be out and put the ‘outing in Scouting’.  But I feel you still need to have those meetings every month – just because it’s summer doesn’t mean that advancement and meetings should stop.

If you’re in one of those Troops that doesn’t meet in the summer, how come?  Maybe I’m missing something that to you is a no-brainer as to why you don’t meet in the summer.  If you’re willing, I’d sure appreciate some feedback from any of you on this.  Just let me know in the comments, please.  I may even make a poll on this one, just to be more ‘scientific’.

On a totally different note, anyone else interested in the Twitter CSP swap?  I got my first one from @SMShawn today, and now I’m all excited to start getting them from all over the country!  I’ll be sending out my CSP’s to you folks that DM’d me as soon as I can get to the Scout Shop and get some more unused patches.  Seems all of mine are pre-worn….don’t wanna pass those out now, do I?