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Scoutmaster Update JAN, 2016

Dear Troop Parents,

 

I know I just sent an update last month, but there are couple of new details and dates, which are summarized below:

 

Feb 6    Jonathan Skinner’s Eagle Court of Honor, 11 am, Prince of Peace Catholic Church.

 

Feb 7     Scout Sunday #1 at Prince of Peace (To Be Confirmed/Mass Time To Be Determined).  All Scouts and Scouters are strongly encouraged to attend —  this is the best opportunity for our Parishioners to see our Scouts.  Class A uniform.  Scouts who help out with the Mass (lectors, ushers, etc.) can earn service hours.

 

Feb 14  Scout Sunday #2 at Saint Stephen Martyr.  Mass is at 8:30 am.

 

Feb 15  Presidents’ Day – no school/no Troop meeting

 

Feb 27  Cast Iron Cookoff II at McClellan’s in Deep Creek.  I am told the theme will be a tropical one (food and presentation).  Opportunities for camping Friday and Saturday nights.

 

Mar 5  Scout Skills Rodeo, also at McClellans.  Scouts will compete by Patrol in a series of fun challenges based on Scout to First Class Skills.  Opportunities for camping Friday and Saturday nights.  I am asking for Scout parents to help out with setting up and assisting with the various stations.

 

Mar 2-16  CAST (Chesapeake Area Shelter Team) at Prince of Peace Catholic Church.  These dates changed from my last email.

 

Mar 18-20  Webelos Crossover Weekend.  Location and details TBD.

 

Mar 21  Troop Court of Honor, 7:30 pm Prince of Peace Chapel (TBC)

 

Mar 26  Easter Vigil Fires at both Saint Stephen and Prince of Peace.  Boy Scouts are in charge of the bonfires that are used to light the Paschal candles for Vigil Mass before Easter.  Times and details TBD from the Chaplain’s Aide.  Service hours opportunities.

 

I also want to take this opportunity to inform you that in February I intend to hold a meeting for Parents of Scouts, both current and prospective, to provide you an overview of our Scouting program, to hear your ideas and concerns, and to answer any questions you may have.   I also want to share with you some ways that you can help make our program better.

 

On that note, I just submitted the results of our Troop’s annual Journey to Excellence (JTE) program to District.  This program provides us a scorecard that measures how well our Scouting program is being implemented.  The good news is that we have once again scored at the top “Gold” level for 2015!  The bad news is that we just barely made it.  I want to give you a rundown of the areas where we need improvement (spreadsheet attached):

 

Block 1 – Planning and Budgeting – Silver points

This is a matter for the Troop Committee – we do this well, but only need to incorporate our Scouts in planning.

We have to ensure we hold an annual budget meeting (Sept) this year and to hold a planning meeting with Scout leaders.

 

Block 2 – Building Boy Scouting – Zero points

This is what we do to recruit new Scouts – mainly in the form of holding recruiting events (we currently do none)

We need to hold a recruitment event sometime this year – perhaps we need a Recruitment Chair on Committee.

 

Block 3 – Retention – Gold points

This data point is the percentage of Scouts who stay in Scouting from year to year (not counting age-outs and transfers).  We do this well – 94.6%!

 

Block 4 – Webelos to Scout transition – Zero points

Here we are graded on our Den Chiefs (excellent), recruiting Webelos (excellent), but we did only one of two required Troop-Pack events, so we got zero points.

We have to do better with joint Troop-Pack events (we only did the Crossover)

 

Block 5 – Advancement – Bronze Points

This is the percentage of Scouts who advanced over the past year.  Our score improved slightly (44%), but we are well short of the goal of 60%.

 

Block 6 – Short-term camping – Gold points

We are awesome at this!  Full marks.

 

Block 7 – Long-term camping – Silver points

This is the percentage of our Scouts attending Summer Camp or a High Adventure Camp.  We are at 66.7%, just shy of the top score of 70%.

 

Block 8 – Service Projects – Zero points

Here we are scored on the number of documented Service Projects that are entered on the JTE Website – we never did this, so we scored a zero.

I am looking for a parent to serve as our Service Projects Coordinator, who would track all service projects and hours (not Eagle projects), enter them on the website, and help identify future potential projects for our Scouts to perform throughout the year.

 

Block 9 – Patrol method – Silver Points

We do this well, but only had 6 confirmed PLC meetings out of the 10 possible.

We have to do a better job of holding TLCs/PLCs (SPL responsibility) – 10 per year

 

Block 10 – Leadership and family engagement – Gold points

This scores the number of volunteers and our numbers of Courts of Honor.

Thanks to our fantastic parent volunteers (Committee Members and ASMs), we did great on this – full marks.

 

Block 11 – Trained leadership – Silver points

This is a percentage of our adults in positions who are trained – 100%, but we have no one who has attended Wood Badge.

We have to get someone Wood Badge trained (I’d like to ask the Committee to pay the tuition for a volunteer)

 

Sorry for this being such a long email, but I want to thank our Parents for everything you do to make this a great Troop and to let you know what we can do to help make it even better.  Please feel free to contact me or Committee Chair Don Landle.

 

Yours in Scouting,

Jack Wallace

Scoutmaster, Troop 824

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scoutmaster Updates NOV, 2015

Dear Scouts and Parents-

 

I am fresh from the monthly Three Rivers District Roundtable and want to share with you some information about training as soon as possible, in order to give you every opportunity to take advantage of it.

 

For adults who are interested in becoming Assistant Scoutmasters, there is Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training this Saturday, November 14th at St Thomas Episcopal Church (off Cedar Road just past the Library) from 1 pm to 5 pm.  This is the shortest such training session I have yet seen.  If interested, please call Kirsten Kopiczak (who is also our District Executive) to see if you can attend.  Fee is $8.  Be sure to bring a copy of the Scoutmaster Handbook (if you don’t have one, you can borrow mine – call me at 277-3956).  This is one of two required courses to serve as an ASM or SM.  The other is IOLS.

 

Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills (IOLS) will be taught at the Council Service Center (1032 Heatherwood Drive, Virginia Beach – the Scout Shop) from 8 am to 8 pm on Saturday December 12th.  This is also the shortest timeframe for such training.  Call Kirsten if you are interested in this training as well.

 

For both Scouts and Adults, the Fundamentals of Training class will be held at Oak Grove Methodist Church (at Battlefield Boulevard and Kempsville Road) on Saturday, December 5th from 8 am to 12:30 pm.  This class is intended for youth and adult trainers and comes highly recommended.  Registration is open until November 28th and the fee is $6.  Please consider registering for this training.  I will ask the Troop Committee to cover the fee for attendees.

 

On the same day and at the same location, there will be a Trainer’s EDGE class from 8 am to 4 pm (adults only).  This is a more advanced class that builds on previous train-the-trainer courses.  The fee is $15, which includes lunch.

 

The University of Scouting will be held at Hickory High School on February 20th.  This event has training for Scouters at every skill and experience level and is open to Scouts and Adults alike.  You can pick and choose classes that can be applied to a Scouting “degree”.  Registration closes on 16 January and the fee is $35 for Adults and $20 for Youth.

 

For all adults, please, please, please get your Youth Protection Training done for this year.  This must be completed by our rechartering date of 5 December at the very latest, but we need you to be done well before then.

 

For more training information, registration forms, contact information, etc.,  please visit http://training.tidewaterbsa.com/

 

To take the Youth Protection Training, please visit www.MyScouting.org and register for an account.

 

One quick reminder about the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST) this Saturday at 9 am at Prince of Peace.  Please come in Class A uniform.

 

Yours in Scouting,

Jack Wallace

Scoutmaster, Troop 824

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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