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    • Yet no one raises an eyebrow to male genital mutilation, something I was a victim of as an infant 65 years ago.  It is still being performed, some for religious reasons, most for some misguided concept of "hygiene" and aesthetics, in spite of overwhelming medical evidence to the contrary.  At least today, I hear that they use some form of anesthesia.
    • I must admit that I used to be much less concerned or even aware of my uniform in the years past. Having read TLS's posts over the years regarding uniforming and insignia has changes my viewpoint. I was not one to knowingly ignore the guide to insignia, I was instead simply non-chalant about it.  TLS posts have been enlightening for me. The reminder of the uniform as a method, like advancement etc... really hit home. When we discuss the Patrol Method, we espouse the desire to reach the ideal. We do not chastise when we fall short, but instead recognize where we trying to improve to get closer to the ideal. If someone was to come to this forum and state how they refuse to use the patrol method, we would espouse the virtues of the method and how it, in concert with the other methods, IS Scouting. When discussing advancement as a method, we often use the phrase, "no adding (or subtracting) from the requirements". This protocol can be viewed as one of the base tenets of BSA advancement philosphy. One could also see it as a tenet of all BSA methods.  I could go on with the other methods, however my main point is not that one method is more important than the others, nor is one inferior to the others. My point is that all the methods work together to achieve the Aims of Scouting. Willful disregard of the methods in part or whole only makes achieving the goals more difficult. We should strive for the ideal in each of the methods.  So thank you to TLS for his years of posting in defense of the uniform as a method. It was not that long ago when I finally saw the light. 
    • Interesting how, once again, the implication is that those who care about the uniform apparently 'don't have any adventure in their lives,' are 'uptight,' and don't enjoy 'the fun of Scouting.' These are, of course, rather outlandish suggestions, and they really have nothing to do with the topic of uniforming, but instead are probably meant only to distract from the underlying desires of those who wish to "put on what (they) want how they want," and brazenly ignore the policies and regulations that are actually meant to teach, unite, and fellowship the Scouts we serve and supposedly teach, ideas which clearly these ardent individuals do not yet understand. More's the pity, because they are depriving their youth of a teaching method that would make their Scouting experience all the richer for it. Also, please note that nobody claimed that criticizing others is a responsibility of leadership, nobody ever suggested that decorating the personalized red jacket was unacceptable, and nobody ever insinuated that those who do care are not "glad to see" those who don't. And certainly nobody was ever as melodramatic as to claim that these things kept them up at night. Yet note how these hyperbolic accusations are thrown into the discussion to make the idea of good form look bad. It suggests that those who care about it are critical and unwelcoming. Does this mean then that all people who are careless about the uniform are good and inviting? That's a broad generalization too absurd to take seriously. Too often when we can't make a valid point against a principle, we attack the character of those who espouse it. Yet the validity of the principle remains unchanged. Might I ask where you came up with those suggestions? Certainly I never recommended nor condoned such inexcusable behaviors, nor would I ever; to whose comments in this discussion then are your thoughts directed?  It is a logical fallacy to assume, suggest or imply that those who care about proper uniforming don't care about those people who do not. That is unfair, illogical, and unwise. Interestingly, however, it's just as unkind and mean-spirited to falsely accuse one of such an attitude, as it would be live up to the slander. Now, having read the official Guide to Awards and Insignia MANY times, which is in fact the one OFFICIAL bar by which we should measure our uniforms (not the lazy output of photographers or marketing teams who are too ignorant to notice that their images reflect poor uniforming more often than not), one realizes that there is powerful pedagogy behind getting it right, and it's far easier to get into the spirit of Scouting when one complies with its ideology than it is when one resists. But that requires humility, and those who are obstinate about getting what they want or doing things their own way make for poor pupils - and sadly, they often pass that trait on to the Scouts they teach. Perhaps, though, if you would try it, you might finally understand. The old line is indeed true; "if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine."  But you've got to do it first before you'll get why it matters. And that means doing something you don't want because it's the right thing to do. Sure, getting the uniform right seems petty. But teach a kid to fix a patch or remove a pin now, and it'll be infinitely easier to help him to kick a habit or remove a bad influence later. If we as leaders can't get it right ourselves, we have no right to expect it of our youth. 
    • I am not sure what I am getting yet, but I contacted someone in the Troop who is also a Firefighter/EMT and he has something started for me that we can hang in the trailer we are also working on.
    • The answer to your question is kick this up to your Chartering Organization. Concerning the rest of the discussion, FGM is illegal in Michigan (and 34 other states). The law making it illegal passed prior to the Federal case being thrown out.  It was never clear to me why the feds rather than the state brought the prosecution, but it's possible most or even all the conduct occurred before MI's law went into effect.   So, you have someone credibly accused of having committed a crime.  This is not sufficient to convict someone in a court of law, but it's generally sufficient for other folks to make rational decisions to not allow that person to be around their children.  If forced to make this decision myself, I would allow this parent to observe meetings,  but I would not allow him to participate as a leader or in any other supervisory capacity.
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