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AOL Crossovers come back to camp with the Pack


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#21 Col. Flagg

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 09:26 AM

I just couldn't see crossing over in January, regardless of advancement, those scouts are still fairly young. A few extra months being the top dogs around the pack can help build that confidence before they join the troop where they are the little kids again.

 

Recruiting in my area is done like a fraternity rush. Many troops have used this method for years and aggressively pursued Webelos during the fall. Many times troops will close off recruiting and stop accepting Scouts as early as December. Because my area is so (needlessly) competitive, families buy in to this crappola and sign up early. The irony is that if the troop does not manage the application submission correctly (e.g., hold off submitting applications until the Scout has been awarded AOL) they can actually screw up the kid's advancement.

 

We take a different approach. We don't set a limit of how many Scouts we will take. We recruit year around, so that we aren't just showing up and asking for Scouts every October. We offer to help with the Cub program, help at meetings and Den Chiefs. This approach has lead to a steady stream of 15-20 new Scouts every year.

 

I agree, March is the perfect time to cross. No one wants a brand new Boy Scout going on a January or February camp out where they may not be properly prepared.


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#22 SouthernTierScouter

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 09:31 AM

Troops actually stop accepting new scouts?

 

That's so anathema to me, why would you not take more boys if more boys wanted to join? I could see if you some how get simply too incredibly large  to manage (suppose you could just split into 2 troops). 

 

Yeah sending a Cub on his first troop campout in January doesn't seem like a good idea. Our Pack does plenty of camping, and even a winter one, (in cabin), but for my tastes that late March works just perfectly.


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#23 Col. Flagg

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 09:56 AM

Troops actually stop accepting new scouts?

 

That's so anathema to me, why would you not take more boys if more boys wanted to join? I could see if you some how get simply too incredibly large  to manage (suppose you could just split into 2 troops). 

 

Yeah sending a Cub on his first troop campout in January doesn't seem like a good idea. Our Pack does plenty of camping, and even a winter one, (in cabin), but for my tastes that late March works just perfectly.

 

Most of the troops in my area average 75 Scouts. Several are 100+. When the stop accepting Scouts it's because they've already taken 20. But that whole "join before we close down recruiting"' approach is back-firing on them now. Parents are realizing that the "hard sell" is stressful and unnecessary.

 

The key to recruiting is knowing each year how many Scouts you can take. If you know how many Scouts you will lose to aging out and attrition you can identify how many you need to recruit.


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#24 SouthernTierScouter

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 11:10 AM

75 to 100 Scouts is insane. We sport around 24-30 in my area.

 

To quote Baden Powell in his book Aids to Scoutmastership, our founder...

 

"ONE REASON WHY A TROOP SHOULD NOT EXCEED 32

 

The number in a Troop should preferably not exceed thirty-two. I suggest this number because in training boys myself I have found that sixteen was about as many as I could deal with-in getting at and bringing out the individual character in each. I allow for other people being twice as capable as myself and hence the total of thirty-two.
 
Men talk of having fine Troops of 60 or even 100-and their leaders tell me that their boys are equally well trained as in smaller Troops. I express admiration (“admiration” literally translated means “surprise”), and I don’t believe them.
 
“Why worry about individual training?” they ask. Because it is the only way by which you can educate. You can instruct any number of boys, a thousand at a time if you have a loud voice and attractive methods of disciplinary means. But that is not training-it is not education.
 
Education is the thing that counts in building character and In making men.
 
The incentive to perfect himself, when properly instilled into the individual, brings about his active effort on the line most suitable to his temperament and powers.
 
It is not the slightest use to preach the Scout Law or to give it out as orders to a crowd of boys: each mind requires its special exposition of them and the ambition to carry them out.
 
That is where the personality and ability of the Scoutmaster come in."

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#25 Col. Flagg

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 11:29 AM

 

75 to 100 Scouts is insane. We sport around 24-30 in my area.

 

Agreed. There are a few units with 120+.

 

You should see them leave on a Friday night for monthly camping. It looks like a small Company of mini Marines heading out...complete with the (adult) Major(s) leading them. No way a 15 year old SPL could manage a unit that large even with 10-12 PLs.

 

We've always been between 60-70. While I'd like fewer, could not reduce size without making waves with the TC, so we've stayed at that level.


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#26 Stosh

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 02:04 PM

In 1993 when I was Web DL, I finished up my boys with AOL prior to them turning 10.5 years of age, the age at which the boys could cross over.

 

It was left up to the boys when they wanted to cross over to Scouts.  Some did when they were eligible, and others waited for their buddies. 

 

It wasn't a big deal for the Scout troop in that they would take on scouts anytime of the year regardless of any prior scouting experience.


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#27 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 10:39 AM

... It also helps us to hit our advancement goal of the B&G in the middle of March.

 

You just proved my point. The majority of Cub Scout leaders believe BnG is suppose to be a big advancement shindig, and not a party celebrating Scouting. Where does it say in any official Cub Scout literature that advancement needs to be completed by BnG.

 

 

I just couldn't see crossing over in January, regardless of advancement, those scouts are still fairly young. A few extra months being the top dogs around the pack can help build that confidence before they join the troop where they are the little kids again. Sure its only a few months, but a few months at that age seems to mean a lot.

 

Unless the Scouts are chomping at the bit to Cross Over. We are an active, year-round pack, and we have had some good WDLs. Plus our district, now council, Webeloree really pushes the Patrol Method, and gives a great introduction to the Boy Scout program. So they get a good taste of Boy Scouts in 4th grade as First Year Webelos. By the time December comes, they are ready.

 

Interesting note, one of our new Scouts from this pack made the comment at his BOR that the troop doesn't camp enough, and we do so once per month.


Edited by Eagle94-A1, 01 July 2017 - 10:41 AM.

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#28 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 10:44 AM

In 1993 when I was Web DL, I finished up my boys with AOL prior to them turning 10.5 years of age, the age at which the boys could cross over.

 

It was left up to the boys when they wanted to cross over to Scouts.  Some did when they were eligible, and others waited for their buddies. 

 

It wasn't a big deal for the Scout troop in that they would take on scouts anytime of the year regardless of any prior scouting experience.

 

LOTS of changes to Cub Scouts since '93.  Now the Webelos Badge is not needed to earn the AOL. Another change is 6 months since completing 4th grade OR 6 months since turning 10. Oldest was 10 years, 3 months old when he crossed over because he was in 5th grade.


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#29 SouthernTierScouter

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 08:12 AM

You just proved my point. The majority of Cub Scout leaders believe BnG is suppose to be a big advancement shindig, and not a party celebrating Scouting. Where does it say in any official Cub Scout literature that advancement needs to be completed by BnG.

 

 

 

 

No place, you are right about that. We don't limit advancement to just up to the B&G, scouts keep working on things throughout the year until our program changes over. However, our B&G is mid march and we almost always hit rank completion (or close enough) by then. Having it all one big event works well for our parents, the moment April arrives we loose 50% of the scouts to spring sports and we'd never get families back for a second event to celebrate ranks. Works well for us to do it this way. 

 

We don't need another party to celebrate scouting, we celebrate scouting at every meeting! :)


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#30 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 09:35 AM

Having it all one big event works well for our parents, the moment April arrives we loose 50% of the scouts to spring sports and we'd never get families back for a second event to celebrate ranks. Works well for us to do it this way.

 

DANG!  April and May is prime Scouting time in my neck of the woods since the weather is better and we can go outdoors. We can usually keep ours until end of May/beginning of June. That's when we move them up and give them their new neckerchiefs and slides.

 

Edited:  We usually have 50% attendance over the summer. but  it is not like the same folks are missing every week.

 

Still floored by the 50% figure.


Edited by Eagle94-A1, 03 July 2017 - 09:45 AM.

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#31 SouthernTierScouter

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 10:14 AM

See my PM reply

 

Weather improves, and the kids go off to Baseball and Soccer. April may be a bit early, I might have misjudge that a bit, but by May they are off playing sports. 


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#32 Col. Flagg

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 08:32 AM

Thought this was timely given the discussion around B&G and crossover.


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#33 DuctTape

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:20 AM

When I was a cub, I remember the BnG as a big dinner with the entire pack. We only did whole pack activities about 3 times a year, everything else was done as a den. We didn't "cross over", not sure when that term started, or where. We spent the spring time going on different camping trips with different troops. We joined the troop of our choice in the fall. This gave us a entire year of hiking and camping as Boy Scouts with our patrol and troop before our first Boy Scout Summer camp.

 

In my opinion, we keep pushing things down to younger and younger boys. If I had the power I would significantly decrease the multiple requirement options for joining Boy Scouts. Specifically eliminate the "bonus" for arrow of light.  It would be 11 years old or completed the fifth grade; that's it. I would also go back to earning webelos badge as a pre-requisite for arrow of light. I think the way things are done now makes the transition more difficult, and is a detriment to the program. Unfortunately it seems HQ is making decisions based on membership numbers. The problem is these decisions impact the program which decreases quality. It seems the business mindset in the US has been to decrease quality in the hopes of increasing quantity...ie the walmart model. I find this sad for BSA and for a majority of US companies which use market share as the most important metric. /rant


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#34 Col. Flagg

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:49 AM

Unfortunately it seems HQ is making decisions based on membership numbers. The problem is these decisions impact the program which decreases quality. It seems the business mindset in the US has been to decrease quality in the hopes of increasing quantity...ie the walmart model. I find this sad for BSA and for a majority of US companies which use market share as the most important metric. /rant

 

I think this is right. 

 

Troops in our area have been used to crossovers in December-February. Their entire first year Scout program is built upon that approach. Last year's requirements changes in both CS and Boy Scouts threw them for a loop. They now have to totally revamp their first year program. Several units are still trying to hold on to their old method which simply isn't working.

 

HQ clearly did not think through the downstream impact program changes related to rank and requirements would have on Packs and Troops.


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