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  • #16
    I don't wish them ill will, but I don't expect Trail Life to amount to much. The initial push, fueled by anger over the BSA policy switcheroo, will be as high as the wave gets, I suspect. Membership appears to be solely driven by Adults who believe they are signing their kids up for a "more Christian" organization, which they may be, but in the end - as was mentioned above - it will just be another version of the Church Youth Group.

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    • #17
      There isn't a copyright on how to start a fire per se but the precepts of, for instance, Leave No Trace, were designed by BSA as are the merit badges, etc. The impression that I got is that TL is cannibalizing those parts of BSA material that they want. They want Christian religious recognitions, that's fine, but making a similar number of ranks and almost equivalent requirements to BSA is cheating. A conversion chart implies that they are not using original concepts but are copying Scout concepts. Although imitation is supposedly the sincerest form of flattery, this isn't imitation, it's theft of ideas. I don't know if BSA has copyrighted or trademarked any of its merit badge books or the names it uses but...

      Let TL come up with a completely different program that doesn't just steal BSA ideas and put them in a fundamentalist right wing context and I'll be fine.

      Comment


      • dcsimmons
        dcsimmons commented
        Editing a comment
        Well, I suppose the folks at lnt.org would take some disagreement with you on the origins of LNT. Merit badges started as early as the Scouting program in the UK. So, I guess the BSA stole those both of your examples.

        You all spend a lot of time carping about an organization you assume won't amount to much, has it all wrong, etc. Get over it. Organizational decisions were made and personal decisions were made. Those that choose to stay need to stop bitchin' and start figuring out why membership continues to drop at an increasing rate.

      • Peregrinator
        Peregrinator commented
        Editing a comment
        Merit badges or what Baden-Powell called proficiency badges are hardly unique to the BSA. Are you suggesting that the badge requirements in Trail Life are the same as those in the BSA?

    • #18
      Leave No Trace was designed by several US government agencies for any and all organizations to use in their programs. BSA is perhaps the largest consumer.

      One could say that BSA has been milking the fruit of practical Christianity for years and TL is only putting the original moniker on it. (That's technically not correct because methods of ordering one's life stem from monastic traditions that predate the Evangelical movement by a millenium - but in broad strokes, it fits.)

      Breaking accomplishment into small steps is nothing new. The European University model was developed in the 12 century. BSA has 7 ranks; TL six. They seem to be imposing age benchmarks, which BSA does not do. You say potayyto, I say potahhto ...

      More importantly, the TL organizers are very much aware of copyright law. Some of them may have helped BSA defend it's turf over the years. I really don't want a dime of my membership fee going towards infringement challenges against TL.

      I'd rather the boys who are caught up in this culture war to get into learning and growing and building program, so I'm glad the conversion chart is available to them.

      Comment


      • #19
        Hi Folks:

        I have a bit different perspective about what TL is about, and why I am attracted to it. Morally straight behavior is not only about physical intimacy. It is about how people treat each other, and requires a common standard that everyone agrees on.

        I have recently gone through a problem with our BSA Unit caused by very different moral standards. That is something I expect can be better resolved in TL. When (not if) there are problems we can go to the bible with the required Chaplain and work it out - biblically.

        Something that I see lacking in this thread is how much the Adult Leaders truly make any youth program fruitful. It is not what is in some book, it is how the program is presented. I want a Christian based program for my boy and the other boys. I really think there is a difference. And it need not be "churchy". Scripture is full of matter-of-fact common sense.

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        • #20
          Let's see now: "When (not if) there are problems we can go to the bible...." and then, "... truly make any youth program fruitful. It is not what is in some book..."
          H'mmm, okey dokey.
          I'll repeat what I've written elsewhere: I'm glad for TL. I hope they are completely successful. No problems here.

          Comment


          • #21
            Originally posted by TwoBlocked View Post
            Hi Folks:

            I have a bit different perspective about what TL is about, and why I am attracted to it. Morally straight behavior is not only about physical intimacy. It is about how people treat each other, and requires a common standard that everyone agrees on.

            I have recently gone through a problem with our BSA Unit caused by very different moral standards. That is something I expect can be better resolved in TL. When (not if) there are problems we can go to the bible with the required Chaplain and work it out - biblically.

            Something that I see lacking in this thread is how much the Adult Leaders truly make any youth program fruitful. It is not what is in some book, it is how the program is presented. I want a Christian based program for my boy and the other boys. I really think there is a difference. And it need not be "churchy". Scripture is full of matter-of-fact common sense.

            work it out biblically? If that was as easy as you make it sound there wouldn't be so many versions of Christianity. The bible is interpreted by man. So which is correct? For instance, the Christian church I attend says that homosexuality is OK according to the Bible. I know that is not the majority interpretation of the Bible but it is an interprettation from a Christian faith including many "educated religious leaders". I think the ten commandments, might be the only non-interprettable part of the bible.

            I have nothing against TL, and I wish the members well. I just think that they will have many of the same problems over time.

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            • #22
              At least the GTSS shorter. For now.

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              • #23
                Originally posted by mashmaster View Post
                As a Jew married to a Christian, I am sure I have a different perspective than most Christians here. Living in the south I am reminded daily that I live in the bible belt. Groups like Trail Life and AHG that are "christian based" don't make sense to me. We live in a multi-cultural society and it is important that our boys are brought up in an inclusive environment with people that are actually different from them. I have not had any complaints from anyone in our unit about our interfaith services because it is a learning experience for them.

                I we lock ourselves in a room with only people like us that believe in the same things, the boys will be in a big shock when they grow into young men to be our leaders.
                We have two GSA councils left in Ohio. Seems the same is true in PA. When I was trying to rent a GSA camp so the Scouts in our troop could run their own summer camp, I found all the different addresses and telephone numbers all rang into the same lady in Pittsburgh, and most of the listed camps had been sold off.

                Comment


                • #24
                  Originally posted by TwoBlocked View Post
                  When (not if) there are problems we can go to the bible with the required Chaplain and work it out - biblically.
                  Of course then you have the issue of Scriptural interpretation. I'm not trying to be flippant but that is one of the primary divisions among Christians.

                  Comment


                  • #25
                    You can have a 100% Baptist unit - just only accept Scouts from your congregation. Then in addition to the Oath and Law, you could focus on the Baptist flavor of Christianity.

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                    • #26
                      I would have gone to a TL meeting to see what it was like, but there weren't any units near me. Peregrinator, I assume they are following the Evangelical interpretation of the Bible.
                      TwoBlocked would I, an Orthodox Youth be able to join TL with my parent as a leader? Since we aren't the "right" kind of Christian?

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                      • #27
                        NG, my Orthodox family gyrates quite well in both evangelical and catholic circles. Your concern is a non-issue. Our "cousins who left us" might be impulsive, but they are not naive as to where their theology comes from.

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                        • #28
                          Originally posted by mashmaster View Post


                          work it out biblically? If that was as easy as you make it sound there wouldn't be so many versions of Christianity. The bible is interpreted by man. So which is correct? For instance, the Christian church I attend says that homosexuality is OK according to the Bible. I know that is not the majority interpretation of the Bible but it is an interprettation from a Christian faith including many "educated religious leaders". I think the ten commandments, might be the only non-interprettable part of the bible.

                          I have nothing against TL, and I wish the members well. I just think that they will have many of the same problems over time.
                          Having a Chaplain (that is appointed by the CR which represents the CO that agrees to conduct the program according to TL standards which include that leaders will live pure lives) available to mediate disputes I think will really help sort out any theological differences.


                          Comment


                          • #29
                            Originally posted by nextgenscouter1 View Post
                            I assume they are following the Evangelical interpretation of the Bible.
                            I'm not an Evangelical but I'm pretty sure there is no one Evangelical interpretation of Scripture. I'm not trying to make waves; just pointing out what seems to be obvious. That said, there's nothing wrong with not having the one right answer all the time, and I suppose each unit's having a religious identity will go some ways toward preventing certain problems or solving them as they come up.

                            Comment


                            • #30
                              Originally posted by nextgenscouter1 View Post
                              I would have gone to a TL meeting to see what it was like, but there weren't any units near me. Peregrinator, I assume they are following the Evangelical interpretation of the Bible.
                              TwoBlocked would I, an Orthodox Youth be able to join TL with my parent as a leader? Since we aren't the "right" kind of Christian?
                              Sorry, an Orthodox what? Jew, Russian, Greek? I don't mean to be flippant.

                              ​Like Scouting, a lot would depend on the unit. A troop doesn't have to take anyone, but there are some adults that cannot become leaders. There is a declaration of faith involved.

                              ​I do not see any TL restriction on youth except for age and gender, as long as they don't promote a morality that is contrary to TL or the CO. That would be backstabbing like a scout saying it is OK to lie or steal. Everyone has their own thoughts and beliefs, and they change back and forth especially when you are a youth. But you learn to "ride for the brand" while you are part of an organization, otherwise an organization just can't function.

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