Archive for the ‘committee’ Category

scout_ranksI have recently accepted the position of advancement coordinator for Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68, so I have been checking out the 2013 Committee Guidebook to see what my new responsibilities will be, and how much work I have gotten myself into. Let’s take a look.

1) Encourage Scouts to advance in rank.

This one should be easy enough. I was a scoutmaster for thirty years. I was always encouraging the Scout to advance. Now I will do it while wearing a different title.

2) Work with the troop scribe to maintain all advancement records.

This will be an interesting challenge since our troop has never asked this of the Boy Scout who holds the position of Troop Scribe. Do any of you readers have any suggestions that have worked well in your troop?

3) Arrange quarterly board of reviews and courts of honor.

This is an easy one. Our troop already does board of reviews as needed during committee meetings, once a month. Quarterly courts of honor have been a part of our yearly program since the early 1980’s.

4) Develop and maintain a merit badge counselor list.

This one is going to require some work. Our council is in the process of updating its counselor list so that will help a little. I think my goal needs to be finding more local counselors. We only have a few within Melrose. I will start with the parents of the Boy Scouts, and then try to find more outside of the troop. I think it would be great to find a local counselor for at least each of the Eagle Rank required merit badges.

5) Make a prompt report on the correct form to the council service center when a troop board of review is held. Secure badges and certificates.

We already do this quite well on the committee. This duty should not be a problem.

6) Work with the troop librarian to build and maintain a troop library of merit badge pamphlets and other advancement literature.

The troop librarian already has a small collection of merit badge pamphlets but it may be time to go through it with him and see if the books are outdated and need replacement, along with what other pamphlets may be needed.

7) Report to the troop committee at each meeting.

When I was the scoutmaster I made regular advancement reports at each committee meeting. The current scoutmaster does the same thing. I guess the main goal here would be to check in with him each month, at least once if not more, to catch up on the latest advancement completed and possible needs. Is there a way to help him achieve more advancement?

One thing not listed as a responsibility but something encouraged by the committee guidebook is to check out internet advancement. Our troop has never used it. As a scoutmaster I could not use it because, at the time, it was not compatible with the Macintosh computer I use at home. No one on the committee back then was interested in taking on that responsibility. I understand that today it should work on a Macintosh computer so I shall have to check it out sometime. Until then we will continue to use the Troop Advancement Report form and turn it into the council office when we pick up the awards.

Are there any other things your troop advancement coordinator does?

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    committee org chartShortly after I retired as the scoutmaster of Troop 68 a few years ago I became the troop committee treasurer. It did not take me long to realize that I did not care to hold that position. It was not that it took a lot of work. It was just that I did not enjoy it. Even when I was a scoutmaster I tried to stay away from the financial stuff of the troop. Now here I was smack in the middle of it.

    During last week’s troop committee meeting I was pleasantly surprised to find out another committee member was willing to take over the role of treasurer. He wanted to take on more responsibility within the troop but due to his schedule he was not able to make many of the meetings or outings. He thought this role would be a good fit for him. He and I will be getting together later this week to discuss the accounts and responsibilities of the position.

    Of course, this leaves me open to take on a different position on the committee, one that I have wanted to do for the last couple of years – the advancement coordinator. I think it is kind of ironic that this position has been offered to me right at the time the new Boy Scout advancement requirements take affect. I pretty much knew the old requirements by heart. I guess I better start reading that new handbook I just purchased.

    Our troop has never really had an active advancement coordinator. We did have someone who was going to do it a few years ago but he retired from the committee shortly after accepting the position. To tell the truth, as I look over the advancement coordinator’s responsibilities, I think I did many of them when I was the scoutmaster. Maybe, as I take on this role, I can lighten the load of the current scoutmaster.

    The main reason I accepted this new position was to work with the boys on their advancement requirements once again. It was one of my favorite things I did as the scoutmaster. Now, I realize this is mainly the scoutmaster’s job, but name one scoutmaster would does not like a little extra help. I would help out a couple times a year but I always felt like I was intruding on someone else’s responsibilities. I will have to have a talk with the scoutmaster about my new role.

    The worse part about accepting this new position is that I am currently serving as the cubmaster of the Cub Scout Pack. The pack meets on the first and third Mondays of the month. The troop meets on the first three Mondays of the month. After thinking about it, that might be for the best. By having a limited amount of time with the troop I will have to try to use the time to the best of my abilities.

    Do any of you have any suggestions for this new advancement coordinator?

    The committee organization chart was found on The Volun-told Scouter Blog, found at

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      CubmasterTis the season for all units… in the Central Minnesota Council to complete their recharters. Begin the caroling and pass the eggnog. The new committee of Cub Scout Pack 68 is about to learn how it is done.

      The recharter was one of the things on the agenda at last Monday night’s Pack committee meeting. Fortunately, our district executive was on hand to explain how to complete the online registration and answer questions. Unfortunately, our new treasurer announced that he is stepping down from the position because he has accepted a new pastoral position in another part of the state. His family is moving this week.

      Although surprised, the pack committee did not panic but started talking about possible parents in the pack who could be recruited as the treasurer and other positions that still needed to be filled. We currently of a great group of parents so the committee plans to speak to them for several minutes during this Monday’s Pack Meeting while I take the Cub Scouts in the next room and work with them on a skit to perform for the parents.

      There is also one other key three position that the Pack need to fill, the Cubmaster. Although I am registered as a pack committee member this year I have been been the acting cubmaster this fall since no one has stepped up to the plate yet. It is not a position I have sought, but after 30 years as a scoutmaster I thought I could run a few pack meetings until we find someone to take over.

      There is only a couple weeks left to complete the recharter. It is down to crunch time. Some of the committee thought they had a candidate to become the cubmaster but he had to decline due to commitments in other organizations to which he already belonged. Where were we to find a cubmaster?

      I have been acting as the cubmaster. Notice the word “acting”. After a short discussion with the committee I agreed to take on the role of cubmaster, but I would only accept the role for this program year, with the condition that that the pack finds an assistant cubmaster this year who would step into the cubmaster role in May of next year. The committee has a lot to talk to the parents about at Monday’s pack meeting.

      I have had fun as the acting cubmaster these pass few months, and it has been a pleasure working with the new committee members. I do actually look forward to being the cubmaster for the rest of this program year, this one term. I do not plan to become the permanent cubmaster. I still intend to continue working with the Boy Scout troop. My goal is to be the liaison between the pack and the troop.

      Hopefully, Santa will bring us a few more committee members, den leaders, and an assistant cubmaster this month. “Deck the Pack with lots of leaders, fa la la la la, la la la la.”

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        committeepatchIt has been an interesting fall as we work to reorganize the leadership of Cub Scout Pack 68 and carry out the new program. It has also been fun and rewarding. The boys have been telling their parents they are having fun. The parents are commenting that they like they way things are going.

        At Monday night’s pack committee meeting, I took the next step toward a better Pack by inviting the commander of the local American Legion Post to attend. The Legion has been the charter organization of the Cub Scout Pack for several years but the two groups really have not done much together. Since the Pack has new leadership I felt this was a good opportunity to try to get the committee and charter organization to get to know each other and possibly work together to create a great Cub Scout program.

        The Legion Commander arrived at my home, the site of the meeting, a little early, before any of the Pack committee had arrived. He surprised me by bringing along two other members of the Legion. By being a bit early, it gave us a few minutes to chat and a chance to introduce them to Bob, our district executive, who had also arrived and was going to attend the meeting.

        Once the meeting started, after introductions around the table, we had some good discussions about the Pack program, the responsibilities of the charter organization, and how the Legion and the Pack could would together on some service projects during the year. I think we now have a very good chance of getting a charter representative who would attend the committee meetings and be the liaison between the Cub Scout Pack and the American Legion.

        The three members of the Legion stuck around for most of the committee meeting and got a good look at the inner workings of the Cub Scout Pack. All three men fully support the Scouting program and look forward to helping the Pack provide a great program for the boys.

        All in all, I think the meeting went very well. I look forward toward Cub Scout Pack 68 and the Melrose American Legion working together during this coming year and beyond.

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          2014_Rocket_Scouting_web_adAs the Cub Scout program year came to a close last May our cubmaster stepped down from his position. His youngest son has graduated out of the pack. That left the pack without a cubmaster. It also left the pack without an active pack committee. Everyone who was registered as a committee member no longer had sons as members of the pack. The pack had no leadership in place for this fall, and no one had done anything to try to take care of that problem over the summer.

          I was a member of the pack committee, but it was pretty much in name only. I was a name on the roster because a third person was needed to keep a pack committee formed. The committee rarely, if ever met. I did try to hold two committee members over my tenure but not much came of them. The cubmaster pretty much did things on his own, but he kept the pack alive.

          In August, as I saw School Night to Join Scouting coming closer on the calendar, I finally decided that something should be done to try to get some leadership in place before the new boys and parents showed up to join the Cub Scout pack. I sent out an email to a small list of Cub Scout parents I was able to get ahold of, asking them to come to a parents meeting to start preparing for a new year. I received four replies. Two said they would attend, and the other two stated they would not be participating in Scouting this fall. I did not hear anything from the others.

          The night of the meeting arrived. I held onto hope that at least three people would attend. One parent did call to say they were running late. Other than that, no one showed up. At seven thirty I was still the only one. I called the parent back to tell her she should not bother to come to the meeting. At 7:45, one father did arrive. He and I had our meeting times mixed up. The two of us did agree to try another parent meeting in two weeks.

          The second meeting was held on Tuesday, September 9. Two mothers and one father attended that meeting. My goal was to get the beginnings of a committee formed and plan a program agenda through December. By the end of the meeting we had a new committee formed (with a chairperson, treasurer, and advancement person), and a preliminary program agenda through next May. One parent had someone in mind to ask about being a cubmaster. Another parent thought there might be one more parent to join the newly formed committee, which by Wednesday evening the committee had another member.

          I am very pleased that we have this much in place for Thursday night’s School Night. I know I will be heading up the meeting that night but I do not really mind. I want the pack to grow and do well. After all, these are the boys who will hopefully be graduating into the Boy Scout troop in a few years.

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            Cub Scout CharactersCub Scout Pack 68 held their Blue and Gold Banquet last night, Tuesday March 25, at the American Legion in Melrose. Pizza was brought in with hot dogs, chips, and desserts provided by the families. The Cub Scouts were pretty excited to receive their achievements during the award ceremony.

            I am a member of the pack committee and attended the event for two reasons. First, I wanted to video record the awards ceremony. Second, I wanted to chat with the second year Webelos and their parents to promote moving on to the Boy Scout troop. Unfortunately, only three of the six Webelos Scouts attended the ceremony. I did get to chat with the three boys who did attend, along with their fathers.

            Mark, the current cubmaster, will be stepping down from his position in May. His youngest son is one of those second year Webelos who will become a Boy Scout of Troop 68. Mark has been the cubmaster since his oldest son, who is now 14, was a Cub Scout. Near the end of the evening’s ceremony Mark spoke briefly of his tenure with the pack and thanked the parents for allowing their boys to be a part of the Cub Scout program.

            It was then time for Dave, the committee chairman, to say a few words and thank Mark for all he has done for the pack. Dave’s son is also a second year Webelos Scout and will be joining Troop 68. Dave has agreed to join the troop committee.

            This means it is time for new leadership to step forward to continue the program of Pack 68. After the meeting I chatted with a few of the parents about filling these leadership roles. One father is seriously considering taking over the position of cubmaster. Another is willing to join the pack committee, and may even be willing to take over as the chairman.

            I offered to stay on the committee for another year and offered my home as a place to hold the committee meetings. Mark and Dave have also stated they would be willing to help the new leaders as they learn about their new roles within the pack. Our district executive has offered to come to town and conduct a training session for all the new pack leaders.

            It is starting to look like things are falling into place for Cub Scout Pack 68’s program to continue strong as things kick-off again with a new program this fall.

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              The last two posts to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast contained the first and second parts of an eleven year old Boy Scout Leader Fast Start Orientation vhs tape I have in my Scouting collection. This post features part three, the last part of that training tape which covers the Troop Committee. Who makes up the committee? What does the committee do? What are they responsible for? Are they really necessary? It is an excellent video that is still relevant to today’s Scouting program.

              I think it is fun to watch these old videos to see how, or if, Scouting has changed through the decades. What do you think about it? Have you seen this before? This is a great video to watch if you are new to the Boy Scout program.

              Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
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                It has been one year since I retired as the scoutmaster of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68. It has been an interesting, but sometimes confusing year. After thirty years of serving as a scoutmaster I am trying to figure out what my role should be and where I now fit in with the troop.

                I knew one of those new roles would be as advisor to the new scoutmaster. When the new scoutmaster stepped down after five months (he was also serving as the pack cubmaster) I found myself to be an adviser to the NEW new scoutmaster, Jim. Jim has taken to his role well and is not afraid to ask questions. He has taken all the online training and has been attending the monthly district roundtables. He has continued many of the things I brought to the troop but he is also adding a few of his own touches, which is to be expected.

                When I visit a troop meeting, I have to watch myself. I find that I sometimes will step back into the role of scoutmaster when I see some help may be needed. When I catch myself I take a step back. I am getting better. The Scouts still seem to enjoy that I come to some of the troop meetings.

                Patrol Leader Council meetings are still held at my home. It is a center point for the out of town families. The scoutmaster likes it because I am there to offer suggestions when needed. It has also offered a continuity to the meetings through the last year of adult leader changes.

                I will admit that it has been strange not attending the monthly troop activities. I like that I may now pick and choose which outings I will attend instead of being expected to attend everyone of them. It was weird not attending a long term camp with the troop in 2012. After all, I have spent every summer vacation for the last 30 years with Boy Scouts, either at summer camp, Philmont Scout Ranch, a Jamboree, or some other high adventure outing.

                I currently serve as the troop treasurer on the committee. After a year I have decided that although I guess I am doing a good job, I really do not enjoy doing it as much I as thought I might. I miss working with the Scouts. It may be time to look at changing to something new. I wonder if the troop could use an assistant scoutmaster?

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