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  1. Virtual Campfire

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    • As one whose beard is greying, and who is facing the prospects of World Jambo and 20-something SMs from the rest of the world, you are right. What keeps many of us in? Well, luck. I've lost some good friends over the years, so I know that my nights counting stars are limited. money and time. Our country is very unique in that many retirees have made a decent nest egg. being nice. The first two don't matter if someone complains too much to our COR. war and college. It takes our young SM's/ASM's away from us right when we need them the most. Us oldies need to sub in for them until they return and can tell their boss they ain't working double shifts no more. smiles. I say it again and again ... but there is no place where I see happier young people than when they settle themselves down in the middle of the wilderness. Maybe not the first time, but they keep coming back. Then finally learning how to rest easy.
    • We include other groups' ideas when they are relevant to what we're teaching and when they are consistent with our Aims and Methods. BSA has its own requirements for shooting sports certifications.  NRA certification is not a component of certification for BB range.  I don't recall whether it is a component for more advanced ranges like .22 and shotgun.
    • So at the BB Gun range for the Cub-o-ree last weekend, the instructor, while going over the range safety and eye dominance and other stuff, included the adage "Stop, Don't touch, Leave the area, Tell an adult".  I recognized this from the NRA's "Eddie the Eagle" gun safety for children program. I understand that we require all our rangemasters to be certified.  Is the NRA the only group that provides the certification?  Is promoting the NRA's "GunSafe" mantra a requirement of that certification? And do we include other groups' materials when we instruct scouts?  Could I, say, teach the 4-H pledge when counseling on the Animal Science merit badge?
    • Oh, the presumption that my quips are only delivered to boys ... but the let's just assume that's the case, and that what I say might lead to some Sooner enforcing his ideals of 'kept women. (Sorry, Barry, couldn't resist). The first link was a "love marriage"; therefore, tragically makes a case for my point. Unions based on emotion make great novels, but those things fade and render a person who cannot make a living in his/her own right vulnerable to abuse. Would that her husband and family could rise above this. They couldn't. The case in your second link is perhaps far more complicated. In the 18th-19th century, William Carey tried collaborated closely with Indian scholars to build a nation who voluntarily resisted the culture of Sati. The subcontinent is seeing rejection of perceived 20th century government overreach and touting of over-zealous Hindu nationalism. (Not unlike our Alt-Right who hang their hats on "old time" Christian or Pagan Aryanism, which has no documented basis in the ancient dogmas of either religions.) The motives of my in-country MENA cousins are even more complex. They believe that they must "win," and they only see themselves "winning" through heirs, a strategy that makes them wholly dependent on women. In this context, a woman's wealth or skill is immaterial. Be the marriage for love or money, a wife is liability until sons rise up to defend the household according to mantras like "Me against my brothers, my brothers against my cousins, my cousins against the world." I am finally old enough to be trusted to converse with (some) young MENA women, and it's captivating to hear them sift through a mix of ancient and post-modern ideals. It's also interesting watching the young men try to keep up. (Look up PBS's Frontline episodes of Our Man in Iran.) I have no idea where the chips will land with that lot. But, I assert that challenging young men and women in that culture to seek out the endowed and industrious for mates puts them on more solid footing. I'm not a fan of transactional  if-you-give-X-expect-to-get-Y approaches to marriage. Talking to someone about the cost of a relationship smacks of prostitution ... My working assumption is that a youth will go "all-in" for their spouse. The question then boils down to what kind of person he/she should go "all-in" for? My answer is not pat. It's provoking. I've never been inclined to put a gag on my kid's adult leaders. If they were afraid to give my youth proverbs that trouble Mrs. Q and I, they might also have been afraid to tell them something dreadfully important. As the kids grew, we could discuss who said what and why they did. The snide remark is none of the above. It is Hephnerism at its best ... fulfilling the Cosmopolitan ideal that we all are best treated as parts for temporary use and subsequent disposal. It is precisely the standard by which young men and women in the past 50 years have been brought up to evaluate one another. Some great and powerful people have learned to live by it. It echos from teen tents of both sexes late at night. It's what you get when people like me don't talk to your youth the way we do.
    • I have no problems running off a good old boy who does not respect the current families in the Troop or is an egomaniac. There is a reason why some people get nicer as they age, it's because they want to continue to be included and not sent off to the dust bin.   A troop does not need a graybeard around to be successful.  But if they happen to have a wonderful graybeard around, it's an asset.  An elder who lives the Scout Law and is welcoming and kind to families is the kind of person you want around for a long time.  All adult leaders are replaceable. Our troop is cycling through this . Older leaders whose kids have long gone are leaving.  That is OK!  That is normal.  New parents are stepping up to help run fund raisers and serve as merit badge counselors.  That is all very healthy stuff. 
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