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May Greetings 2014

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by joecool on May 25th 2014, 5:00 pm

Phillip Gross wrote: For those who take a summer break, do you find that most/all come back, or do you lose kids?

I've been with my church for 10 years, and Rangers has always shut down between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Never been a problem getting them back in the Fall. Since this is your first time taking a break, you may want to consider keeping in touch with the kids via postcard or e-mail.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Claymore on May 25th 2014, 6:32 pm

The big problem that I have seen is that (after 3 months), the boys seem to forget everything that they've learned, and it takes 4 to 6 weeks to get them up-to-speed again.

(My dad grew up on a farm, and he said that they had "Western Mares". These were captured wild horses from the Western U.S. After they were trained to pull a wagon or plow, they were good horses. But he said that, after spending 3 months off of field work and in the Horse Barn during the Wisconsin Winters, you had to break them in all over again in the Spring.)

If you're only taking a 1-month break, you may not see quite as much of a problem.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Mark Jones on May 25th 2014, 8:42 pm

I haven't seen any program that does well after shutting down for 2 to 3 months during summer.

1. It takes time to get up to speed.
2. Plenty of time for boys to find new things to fill there 12 month a year time.
3. Missed out on some of the best Ranger Events during the summer.

Hands down we loose when we shut down. For those that need a break take a vacation and have someone fill in for you while your gone. Those nights that seem like no one is coming except for 2 boys that never go anywhere... load them up and take them some place really cool. Smaller groups allow even better one on one time.

This next 2 months.
Pow Wow 4 days 3 nights.
Junior Canoe Expedition Canoeing Action Camp 3 days 2 .
JLTA (I don't make these two camps but do send boys to them. 3 days 2 nights.
Advancement Merit Camp. 5 days 4 nights (I haven't made one of these but send boys as this way they get the GMA)
Ranger/Youth Float trip 3 days 2 nights
Rendezvous 5 days 4 nights
Not counting the many evening floats or fishing trips we will take after work. Not all boys make these but a few do.

To me it's like shooting your program in the foot when you close down. It takes a while to get it moving again. I vote against it every year. Yet our Children's Pastor wants a break so we take 2 weeks off. But we still meet and build card board boats.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Mark Jones on May 25th 2014, 8:47 pm

Back from vacation. Got in about noon. Pressure washed the truck and the camper. Fixed about 10 little things that needed a tweak or two and now it's 7 pm and I am ready to work tommarrow on the Holiday
the big bucks.

I was supposed to take 3 weeks off in a row but the middle week got put into I don't have to take it mode so I canceled it and will take the days at a time through the year.

This next weekend we go up to the Pow Wow campground and mow or spot and bring up gear. I have a 5 kayak event to run this year at our small lake (I call it a big pond grin)

Lots to do these next 2 months.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Claymore on May 25th 2014, 9:38 pm

Mark Jones wrote: Those nights that seem like no one is coming except for 2 boys that never go anywhere... load them up and take them some place really cool.  Smaller groups allow even better one on one time.  



We've adapted with "hands-on" things with the smaller summer groups.

2 weeks ago (3 boys), the boys used a bullet-puller to study the components of ammunition, then we made a big sparkler behind the church with the salvaged powder.

Last week (3 boys), I brought in horse shoes, and the boys played. You wouldn't be able to get a big group of boys to wait their turn for a game.

For this week, I'm thinking "croquet set".

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by strods on May 25th 2014, 10:22 pm

We take off on Wednesday meeting, but do get together at least monthly for camps. We keep numbers stable, but I would rather have my break during winter instead of summer but we do okay.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 25th 2014, 11:26 pm

We're off 3 months as I would have no one to help with RK and I'm handling DR and AR combined with a partner who is swing shift.

My RK cmdr from last year had some issues and took off this season. My DR cmdr took over RK and is leaving Royal Rangers altogether. Unless the RK cmdr comes back in fall I have no fulltime cmdrs except me and I'm already running DR and AR combined. To me it looks bleak. I have had a very blah year with stresses on many fronts.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Phillip Gross on May 26th 2014, 12:17 am

Three months seems like a long time to me. July seems to be when most of our kids will be going on vacation anyway, so hopefully it won't be too much of a break all in all.

I also want to use it as a mini reset to analize what's working and not working in the outpost. After a year and a half we now have some track record to anylize. I think we need to get a little better on our time management during weekly meetings. We've never wanted to be a one and done style OP with merits, but I think we're taking too long to get through them because of trying to get every boy through. Some boys are just going to either have to get extra help outside of class, or may not get a certain merit at all. "No ranger left behind" is making it so that "no ranger makes it at all".

I'm going to have a leadership planning meeting during the break to map out the next six months. I think we've just been going week to week with events thrown in here and there and it isn't working very well. I know nothing ever works out exactly to plan every time, but I think we need a little more overall planned direction. Imagine if a school teacher came into the school year without a plan of where the students needed to be by a certain time...

The OP is up and running, but we need a little more intentional direction. I take responsibility for the apparent floundering. I've been working so much and out of town for the past year that I've just been trying to keep all the plates spinning lately, but I think that endeavor would be easier with a concise action plan. I do the same with my jobs because if I didn't I wouldn't get the jobs finished and I'd be out of work because I'd have unhappy customers. Yes, I have the day in and day out routines that I have to push through and make adjustments, but without an overall action plan I'd fail. With work it comes easier because I've been doing it for 18 years instead of 18 months like rangers, but the concept is the same. Get people from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time with the least amount of collateral damage. Smile
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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Mark Jones on May 26th 2014, 8:52 am

In our outpost we are almost 3 commanders deep in each age group. So taking off generally is not a issue.

It's nice to have lots of Commanders. I had 24 on staff in my smaller church of about 600. It was nice to have many hands helping.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by joecool on May 26th 2014, 3:04 pm

Phillip Gross wrote: I'm going to have a leadership planning meeting during the break to map out the next six months.

I think you'll find it one of the smartest things you'll ever do. Our goal is to make sure that every boy who puts in the time and effort will earn a medal at the end of the 9-month year. I'll be sitting down pretty soon (this time with the new guy) to put together the 9-month schedule. It will have all merits, along with special events, to make that happen. I suppose that doesn't work for everyone, but it sure keeps me focused.

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Phillip Gross on May 27th 2014, 9:22 pm

joecool wrote:
"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

I agree with that completely. There always has to be an understanding that things won't always go as planned, but there must at least be some goal.

One big problem we've had with events is that because they're planned more on the fly, they seem to be able to be changed on the fly just as easily. I want to set things more in stone so everyone knows the deal. Either make it happen and go, or get left behind.
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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 27th 2014, 9:55 pm

I use an excel spreadsheet as a template and save the packet as a pdf. After a year or two you got some cookie cutters for most any event. Just plug in the pertinent data and change specifics as needed. Saves a lot of time and redoing the same work you did for past years spring camp-out or pow wow.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Phillip Gross on May 27th 2014, 9:59 pm

Hopefully we'll be a well oiled outpost soon, but I know it takes time. Nothing worth having comes easy.
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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 27th 2014, 10:48 pm

Do you use excel? I'd be willing to send you my files to give you a shortcut through some of the leg work.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Phillip Gross on May 28th 2014, 5:11 am

I'm getting more accustomed to excel and have started using it more. I'd like to see what you use.
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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by joecool on May 28th 2014, 11:13 am

Anyone else get an e-mail today from Doug Marsh? He's already got a website up and running, so you can buy his books, invite him to speak, or donate to his international focus. I wish him the best.

Just had a thought here. Who's been running international RR for the last 7 years? Is that person being reassigned to make room for Doug?

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Claymore on May 28th 2014, 3:35 pm

I haven't seen anything, but I'm not "plugged-in" with the National Flag Pole.

Our Outpost falls under the Chain of Command of the RRUR (Royal Ranger Underground Resistance).

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by joecool on May 28th 2014, 3:42 pm

Claymore wrote: I'm not "plugged-in" with the National Flag Pole.

The insinuation is that I am. I'm deeply hurt. Slap  

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Claymore on May 28th 2014, 7:38 pm

No, not that.

Let's just say that I'm not in touch with National much (like, not at all).


.............and while I did not get the personal invitation from Doug, I did find the web site;
pretty much what you said.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by ccm2361 on May 29th 2014, 7:27 pm

joecool wrote:Anyone else get an e-mail today from Doug Marsh? He's already got a website up and running, so you can buy his books, invite him to speak, or donate to his international focus. I wish him the best.

Just had a thought here. Who's been running international RR for the last 7 years? Is that person being reassigned to make room for Doug?

I got that email too

He has had that website for years. Its left over from his missionary days

He has been holding both positions as he was RRI Director before taking over the top slot.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Phillip Gross on May 29th 2014, 10:25 pm

As if I don't have enough irons on the fire, I may be putting another one in in a couple months....  Neutral 

The [older two] boys played their last baseball game tonight of the spring season and won. They either ended up 2nd or 3rd depending on the outcome of another game that was going on tonight.

After the game I went to talk to the coach of the opposing team who was Seth's coach last spring because I've stayed friendly with him since then. We talked about fall ball and he asked if I'd be an assistant coach. I probably will if he coaches in the fall because I'd like them to be back on his team. He of course tries to win, but his main goal is to teach mechanics to the boys. He's not one of these coaches who only plays the "best" players because he knows that any one of them could potentially be a great player with the right training. The coach this season was OK, but he always played the good players infield while sticking the not so good players in the out field even in practices. This little league. This is the time to teach all the boys all the positions to see where they might excel.

So we'll see how my schedule looks in a couple months, but I'll probably do it because coaches kids are automatically on the same team and he's a good coach.
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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 30th 2014, 8:23 pm

I haven't got that email. I tagged Philip, Mark, and some others in an interesting fb post Barger made about Royal Rangers.

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by ccm2361 on May 30th 2014, 9:03 pm

woo-hoo! 5th straight week of overtime  cheers 

I got 40.75 hours!  Laughing 

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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Phillip Gross on May 31st 2014, 7:01 am

RRCmdrBennett wrote:I haven't got that email. I tagged Philip, Mark, and some others in an interesting fb post Barger made about Royal Rangers.
When? I guess I better log on to see...

Had a long day yesterday, then fell asleep in the recliner last night while the TV was on. I'm usually a stickler for bedtime preparation, so when I wake up in the morning in the chair I realize my body had had enough and pulled the plug on me! Laughing
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Re: May Greetings 2014

Post by Phillip Gross on May 31st 2014, 7:09 am

ccm2361 wrote:woo-hoo!  5th straight week of overtime  cheers 

I got 40.75 hours!  Laughing 
Good deal Chris! Are you still enjoying the new job?
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Re: May Greetings 2014

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