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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.


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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Frankly they would be shocked at the girls in my ship......   We are 50% female and they have a lot of fun.  We also happen to have been recognized as one of the top Ships in the nation for the last 7 years.  We wained because of Covid but continued forward.  Now that life is starting to look more normal (what is that anyway) we have a big influx in young women and young men that are excited to get out on the water.   Below is a picture from tonight where some of our girls decided to see if they can fit five of them on a single sunfish.  They succeeded and laughed and laughed about it.
    • "Gravity" is a natural law.  Expound heartily to the contrary, yet the "Apple still falls."  Stephen J. Gould. I absolutely and thoroughly reject your analysis. Good luck with Scouting.
    • Perhaps I misjudge, are you advocating going to war with snot-nosed cub scouts and their moms? In my Troop I satisfy myself that the scouts have their shirts tucked in.
    • So, some clarification seems to be needed (and particularly to confused mrjohns2). I heard somewhere, many years ago, that Boy Scouting was the only youth program that gave awards to adults. (I do not know if this is true or not, but it is irrelevant to this discussion.) (But that comment does target BSA as having an adult "advancement" element. Beginning to sound like a Mary Kay meeting.) It got me thinking, should I be accepting awards only for those for which I was competing (or competitively awarded), or also awards bestowed by a group for whatever reason suited it? "Do a Good Turn Daily," "Cheerful Service.," and such, I take those to heart. I know several scouters who wore as many as 27 knots, each trying to out-compete the other.  And I ask, "Where is the benefit to youth if knots are earned for the purposes of a peacock's display?" As a "self-starter" I need no encouragement, support, pats-on-the-back, and such, to work diligently and tirelessly to advance my Scouting tasks. Nobody need tell me if I "did well."  I know my shortcomings far too well enough. So, I resolved only to accept awards which were competitively awarded-mostly.  I did accept the District Award of Merit, and many years later, Silver Beaver.  But I wear only my Eagle knot.  And now that I contemplate the Eagle Scouts that have awarded me a Mentor Pin, I need to wear at least one (each can think it is their pin, however brothers awarded me each's pin at a recent Eagle Court of Honor, so now I shall wear two). Those that know me, know what I have contributed and those that don't-it matters not. I am pretty reserved. It is not about me.  
    • I think that if the youth are 'disappointed' because a leader isn't wearing his Eagle Mentor pins on his uniform, it's only because they needed to be taught better principles more clearly. First of all, if you were to change into a suit coat to receive the mentor pin and change back after, that would do the exact OPPOSITE of denigrate the significance of the uniform - rather, it would be a powerful demonstration of how much one honors the uniform and its proper wearing, and if anything, would only serve to increase its esteem and respect.  I taught my Webelos Scouts about the importance of wearing the uniform correctly out of both respect for the uniform, the organization it represents, and themselves as members of this august body. I taught them about how the military is very strict about its uniform guidelines, as are police officers and other important service organizations, and I made sure to ALWAYS wear mine correctly. And they followed that same tone of respect for their uniforms while with me and when they moved on to Scouts BSA; my boys (bless their hearts) were known for ALWAYS being remarkably well-uniformed. As they started earning the rank of Eagle, they would ask me beforehand about the mentor pins, since I had taught them in Cub Scouts that they weren't for uniform wear. So I would tell them that I trusted them to be clever enough and creative enough to come up with a solution. And every single one of them did! Most would present them in lovely little jewelry boxes. They were never disappointed, because they were taught to be prepared. That's what Scouting, properly done, is all about. But when my Den Chief finally had his Eagle Scout ceremony, he had already just finished boot camp with the Marines - and he made it very clear to me that we would be appearing in his military uniform. So we had his Scout uniform displayed on a mannequin we found, perfectly arranged and looking very professional. But as we presented him with his medals and neckerchiefs, he pointed out to the audience very maturely that he was not to wear them on his military dress uniform, so we simply handed him the medal in its box, and placed the neckerchief on the mannequin. His example was a potent teaching moment for everybody there, and after that, the quality of uniform wearing in both the troop and all the dens in our adjacent pack improved to the point of nearly universal perfection, especially among my fellow leaders, who up until then were less attentive to the concept as I had been. The natural consequence of this was that behavior, involvement, and maturity in our units improved dramatically. We never had problems getting the boys to volunteer or participate in activities, they were naturally willing to take the lead on their own troop affairs and advancements, the Cub Scouts were better behaved and more interested in learning, and the adults became more sincere in their commitment to the program. And much of that was because of the fact that the way we present ourselves affects the way we behave; like actors on the stage, our costuming affects the way we play our part. But these things have to be taught, and I wonder how many leaders are able to effectively communicate these kinds of ideas to young people, and because they find themselves unable or unwilling to do so, end up being a bit too casual or too apathetic about the concept (as with so many other things in Scouting, uniforms being but one part of the much larger whole). And they do so at a cost; the benefits of the appearingly small extra effort go far beyond the Scouts simply "looking good" - it's about feeling good, about feeling right, and allowing that to help build the natural confidence that they will need and use to grow into powerful, effective leaders someday. We trivialize what we do not fully comprehend, but were we to really consider why we do the things we do, we would likely do them a bit better.
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