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  1. Equipment Reviews & Discussions

    Discussions dealing with equipment topics (tents, lights, packs, boots, stoves, etc.)

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    Tales of Scout cooks, prized techniques and yummy recipes for gathering around the fire.

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • First of all, I think it strange and perhaps somewhat insensitive to group atheists and Jehovah's Witness together; they are as utterly different in their beliefs (or lack thereof) as any two groups can be. Secondly, Duty to God is an integral, inherent part of Scouting - if you remove that element of its composition, in my book, it will cease to be Scouting, regardless of what organization (even the BSA if it comes to that) may claim to be running it. The Scouting program and its methods, as created by Baden-Powell and build up by the likes of Seton, Beard and Hillcourt, is a religious program, yet at the same time absolutely non-denominational. That's one of the wonders of its foundation, and it has worked beautifully for generations. But remove that central core of duty to God, and ... well, in my book, it's no longer Scouting, and it's no longer going to work. That's not being judgemental - that's integrity. But upholding a standard of membership is not discourteous. If you are looking for a totally non-religious organization to take you camping and teach you life-skills, Scouting isn't for you - but there are many other good and supportive organizations who can help. Look for one that already suits you rather than change the one that suits somebody else.
    • Here is the response from Circle 10 Council.  I know its been a few days since this was posted, but I didnt know about "123 Not It" before I volunteered to organize our Christmas Lock-In so I have been busy the past several days.       Yesterday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal published an article stating that National BSA has hired a bankruptcy attorney in light of the costs of defending sexual abuse lawsuits. I wanted to share with you some information to help you with any questions you have so you can continue to do what you do for Circle Ten Council and the nearly 59,000 youth we serve.   In a communication released yesterday, National BSA reaffirmed its focus on keeping children safe and delivering our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.   BSA stated its commitment to the social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting, and the deep care and concern for all victims of child sex abuse and the proactive steps to help victims heal and prevent future abuse. BSA stresses that at no time in BSA history has the organization knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and will always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.      BSA is committed to communicate transparently and stated there are no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected by BSA in light of the WSJ news story. They are in an exploratory phase of a possible financial restructure.   We have assembled a few items of information from a Dallas perspective that may be helpful considering the news story.    The strength of Scouting for over 100 years has been its local domain. Each troop is owned by its charter partner which is typically a place of worship, service club or educational institution. Each council is locally incorporated in the specific state where it operates.  The Circle Ten Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Texas. Our camps, our Scouting Centers, our bank funds and investments are owned and controlled by the Circle Ten Council. The Circle Ten Council does have an investment in the BSAAM Endowment Fund managed by the National Council. All Circle Ten Council dollars invested in that fund belong to Circle Ten Council and are not a part of the National Council. The nature of the relationship for a council with the national BSA organization is that our council is the holder of a charter to conduct the Boy Scouts of America programs in our defined territory. Councils receive no funding from the national organization; in fact, we pay fees to National BSA as a part of our charter agreement and for specific services. We receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a significantly financially independent not-for-profit organization. All local donations to the Circle Ten Council stay local to support the nearly 59,000 youth served in our 24 counties and do not go to the National office. Areas where we partner with National BSA, for business purposes, include several insurance programs, services for IT and expertise related to camping, Youth Protection and so on. Also important to note is employee benefits such as healthcare and retirement are funded by each council but through programs controlled and operated by National BSA. The Circle Ten Council is one of the strongest councils in the BSA from perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication and staff commitment and talent.     It is our hope that the national organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence. Locally, we will stand ready to help - and we will continue our primary focus on bringing high-quality Boy Scouts of America programs for nearly 59,000 Scouts in each neighborhood we serve
    • I see what you mean. I think in our Pack we have an overwhelming majority of Christian leadership, even though among the youth membership there's a great deal of diversity. That makes me more likely to err on the side of leadership being careful to be non-sectarian in their approach and encouraging the boys and girls to express their own faith traditions and be respectful of each others'. This dynamic may be different in different groups. 
    • Gimme a break!  All this PC stuff is getting to be too much. We are all being told to focus on the hot news byte of the week, atheism, Christmas songs & tv specials.... whatever. Let the atheists and jehovah witnesses join - but remember part of being reverent is being tolerant and not judging how and what others believe. And that goes for ALL  - that means NO religion/lack of religion bashing as it would be unkind and discourteous.  Betwteen this and the WSJ article and fallout, no communication has come from our council other than a regurgitation of CSE’s message. It’s been a rough week answering parent questions about the news. 
    • Last weekend, as I spoke at the memorial service for a very influential Scouter from my teenage years, I was overcome with emotion, not just from the memories of a loved one taken at a young age. Unbeknownst to me, 3/4 of the attendees were Scouters and I was the only one wearing my uniform. I wore it because I think about my Scoutmaster and his late wife each time I put on my shirt. Underneath my shirt I wore a special t-shirt I received while working on staff of a district camporee in 1994. As I was sharing a second story with the assembled crowd, I unbuttoned my uniform shirt to show off that very same t-shirt I had received 24 years ago. You should have see the faces light up! I was immediately overcome with cries of "I have that shirt, too!" and "I can't believe that was so long ago!" I wear that shirt at least once a week and have done so since 1994; it's a wonder it's not full of holes by now! Those Scouters had an indirect impact on my youth experience though I don't recall ever meeting them. I know they helped shape that same camporee in 1994 and trained the volunteers who mentored me throughout my youth experience in the Cataouatche District of the New Orleans Area Council. The stories we all shared last weekend illustrate the lasting impact Scouting has on so many young people. Scouting is so much more than an organization; it's a way of life. I truly can't see the Boy Scouts of America going away. Sure, there may be some changes along the way, but I doubt we'll see the BSA fold. Scouting is woven into the fabric of so many lives.
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