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Council Relations

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    • CHANGE IS INEVITABLE, BUT NOT ALL CHANGE IS IMPROVEMENT.  ASK POLAND.  CHANGE THAT AMOUNTS TO LESSENING PRODUCT/SERVICE QUALITY SELDOM LEADS TO SUCCESS.   HOW WAS GM SAVED (AT LEAST FOR NOW)? QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY, AND THE BIG SHOTS WHO SAID NOTHING COULD BE DONE TO END THE ROT? GONE.  IMMEDIATELY. THE BSA SOLELY DETERMINES THE REQUIREMENTS AND KNOWINGLY ALLOWS THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE DISREGARDED.  SOME COUNCIL PROFESSIONAL ARE MORE RIGOROUS, AS YOU SUGGEST.  BSA IS NOT. A LARGE MINORITY OF COUNCIL CAMPS STATE ON THEIR WEBSITES THAT "CAMP X IS NOT A MERIT BADGE MILL."  WHY IS THAT NECESSARY?  WHY IS THERE EVEN AN ISSUE?  IF EVERY OTHER BUILDING IN A TOWN HAD A SIGN, "NOT A HOUSE OF PROSTITUTION," WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE TOWN.?  THE CAMPS THAT WARN AWAY THOSE EXPECTING A MERIT BADGE MILL ARE  YOUR "MORE RIGOROUS."  BUT THEY ARE, AGAIN,  A MINORITY LAST TIME I COUNTED (2016).  THIS SCANDAL IS AN "OPEN SECRET."  IF VOLUNTEERS ARE NOT INCLINED TO FOLLOW THE RULES REGARDING REQUIREMENTS, THEY ARE IGNORED OR REMOVED.  THIS HAS HAPPENED TO THREE OF OUR COUNCIL ADVANCEMENT CHAIRS OUT OF THE LAST SEVEN.  THE OTHERS WENT ALONG, SOME GRINDING THEIR TEETH.   EAGLES ARE UP 600-700% ACCORDING TO BSA.   BECAUSE THE YOUTH ARE THAT MUCH BETTER?   ADVANCEMENT BAUBLES ARE THE PARTY FAVORS THAT HELP DRIVE ATTENDANCE.  CAMP ATTENDANCE ($$$) IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TRUSTWORTHY. GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT RULE 7.0.4.7 IS A MONUMENT TO A PROBLEM EASILY SORTED BY BSA AS IT DETERMINES WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BE A COUNCIL EXECUTIVE.  "ANYONE CAUGHT RUNNING A MERIT BADGE MILL IS HISTORY, AND WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE FIRST EXAMPLES TO MAKE." BSA COULD ALSO ENFORCE THE RULE THAT NO MB MAY BE OFFERED UNLESS AN ACTUAL REGISTERED MERIT BADGE COUNSELOR- 18 OR OLDER BY RULE -  HAS BEEN RECRUITED FOR EVERY WEEK THAT MERIT BADGE IS OFFERED.  THOSE OF US WHO HAVE GONE TO SUMMER CAMP FIFTY AND MORE SUMMERS KNOW THAT ACTUAL REGISTERED MERIT BADGE COUNSELORS ARE RARE COMPARED TO YOUTH STAFF WHO ACTUALLY "TEACH THE SESSIONS" AND DECIDE WHO GETS (NOT EARNS) THE BADGES.  BUT NOW WE "VISIT" RATHER THAN INSPECT AND THE "A" FLAG IS OFTEN MEANINGLESS.  I WAS AT CAMP ALL SEVEN WEEKS IN 2017, RUNNING SCOUTMASTER TRAINING AND THERE WAS NEVER MORE THAN ONE - 1 - ACTUAL MERIT BADGE COUNSELOR ON THE PROPERTY FOR ALL FIVE DAYS. SOME DAYS THERE WERE TWO.  ONCE THERE WERE THREE.   NEVERTHELESS, OVER NINETY MERIT BADGES WERE "OFFERED." PLEASE.  NONSENSE.  SCOUTERS IN WILKES BARRE WHO OBJECTED OVER CAMPING TRUST FUND MONEY BEING DIVERTED TO MEET PAYROLL CONTRARY TO THE TERMS OF THE TRUST, INCLUDING A FIFTY-YEAR VOLUNTEER, EAGLE SCOUT AND CHAIRMAN OF THE CAMPING COMMITTEE, WERE BANNED FROM SCOUTING AND NATIONAL BACKED THE LOCAL CRIMINALS.  HE LEFT SCOUTING.   WANT MORE EXAMPLES?   I WAS  A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL EXECUTIVE BOARD.  IN MY THIRD YEAR, WITH MY DISTRICT LEADING THE COUNCIL IN EVERY METRIC,MOST DEFINITELY  INCLUDING FOS, I HAD THE TEMERITY TO SUGGEST AT THE ANNUAL BUDGET MEETING THAT WE BUDGET A "NOMINAL AMOUNT" TO IMPROVE DRAINAGE BECAUSE SO MANY OF OUR SITES WERE DISHED OUT AFTER THIRTY YEARS OF USE AND HAD STANDING WATER WHEN IT RAINED.  THINK: TENTS - STANDING WATER.  AND THIS IS OHIO, NOT ARIZONA.   I OPINED THAT WE  NEEDED TO  PROVIDE A BASIS TO SAY WE HAD STARTED ON SOMETHING PROMISED ANNUALLY FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS.  THE "COUNCIL PRESIDENT" THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA AND  CALLED FOR A MOTION  BUDGETING  A PIDDLING $2000 OF CAPITAL FUNDS TO IMPROVE DRAINAGE,.  (WE HAD AMPLE CAPITAL MONEY BUT, IT DEVELOPS WERE RUNNING IN THE RED ON OPERATING EXPENSES, AND CAPITAL MONEY WAS BEING RAIDED -  STILL RUNNING NINE MONTHS IN DEFAULT ON BILLS ON AVERAGE - NOT ALLOWED, BUT THERE IT IS.  I SIGNED THE LETTER WARNING TELEPHONE SERVICE WOULD BE CUT IN TEN DAYS IF "PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS" WERE NOT MADE.  ELECTRIC AND GAS WERE IN THE SAME SHAPE.)  THE MOTION WAS MADE AND SECONDED BY MANY.  IT PASSED BY A UNANIMOUS VOICE VOTE.  AT THE END OF THE YEAR, HE AND  I FOUND OURSELVES NO LONGER NEEDED IN ANY CAPACITY ABOVE THE UNIT LEVEL, IN MY CASE FOR THE NEXT FOURTEEN YEARS, DESPITE THE SE's REMOVAL IN ONLY SIX YEARS WHEN THE AUDITORS ARRIVED (THOU SHALT NOT OPERATE IN THE RED AND THE MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS WERE WAY OFF. [LOTS OF TROOPS WITH EXACTLY THREE IMAGINARY ADULTS AND FIVE IMAGINARY SCOUTS.])  (I SAT ON AN EAGLE BOARD FOR A SCOUT WHOSE TROOP HAD NOT MET IN FOUR YEARS AND WAS, FINALLY, OUT OF CHARTER.  YES, "HOW?")  I WAS ONLY CONTACTED DURING THAT PERIOD TO CONTINUE MY GENEROUS FOS CONTRIBUTIONS.  THROUGH VOLUNTEERS,  I  HELPED WITH DISTRICT TRAINING WITH MY NAME OMITTED FROM THE PHONY REPORTS THAT LIST STAFF AS "PARTICIPANTS" TO PAD THE TRAINING NUMBERS.  THEN, HAPPILY, THE SECOND SUCCEEDING SE CALLED ME PERSONALLY TO ASK FOR MONEY, HE ASKED, IN PASSING, WHY I WAS NO LONGER ACTIVE OUTSIDE MY TROOP, GIVEN MY PRIOR SERVICE, DAM AND SB, AND ALL THAT.  THAT CONVERSATION LED TO MY BEING LET BACK IN, UNTIL THE SM OF OUR TROOP, ALERTED BY A PATROL LEADER,  7.0.4.7'D A PIONEERING MB FOR A SCOUT WHO LITERALLY COULD NOT TIE A SQUARE KNOT AND RESPONDED "WHAT PROJECT" WHEN THE SM QUERIED HIM ON A TIP FROM HIS PL.  HE HAD SHOWED UP WITH A SIGNED BLUE CARD AFTER ONLY FOUR DAYS AT CAMP. TURNED OUT THE THE OLDEST "SCOUT CRAFT" STAFFER  WAS SIXTEEN.   THE  PIONEERING "COUNSELOR" WAS FIFTEEN.  AS I HAD ASKED ABOUT MERIT BADGE COUNSELORS  WHEN SHOWING UP TO HELP IN THE "SCOUT CRAFT" AREA, IT WAS ASSUMED I HAD 'RATTED" ON THE COUNSEL ("RATTED" WAS THE WORD FOR MY ASSUMED TELLING MY SM THE TRUTH.), AND I WAS BACK ON THE BLACK LIST.  WHEN THAT SE TRANSFERRED, AND THEN WAS FIRED FOR FAKING MEMBERSHIP ( BEFORE "TALKING" TO BSA AND SOMEHOW BECOMING  THE SE OF A VERY LARGE COUNCIL), I WAS STILL REGARDED AS "RADIOACTIVE" PER PROFESSIONALS WHO WOULD STILL TALK TO ME.   SO I SOLDIER ON WHERE I AM ALLOWED.   "SUCCESSFUL"?  BSA LEADERSHIP IS "SUCCESSFUL" BY WHAT MEASURABLE STANDARD?  LET'S PRETEND THEY ARE ACTUALLY ACCOUNTABLE" - HAD TO WRITE THE TICKET WE SAY THAT WE REQUIRE OF WOOD BADGE "PARTICIPANTS."   I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A "TICKET" FOR THOSE BIG SHOTS AT NATIONAL WHO HAD A BIG PUSH ON FOR LATINO SCOUTS BUT SENT ONLY ENGLISH-SPEAKERS TO MEET WITH THE ADUTS IN THE BARRIO.  I KNOW WHAT TICO THOUGHT OF THAT, BEFORE HE QUIT IN FRUSTRATION.  HE HAD BEEN A MANAGING PARTNER IN A BIG LAW FIRM, AND WAS STUNNED BY THE INEPTITUDE.  AS A VOLUNTEER, HE WAS ANOTHER OF THE "MERE" CLASS TO MANY "PROFESSIONALS." WHILE YOUR AT IT COMMENT ON THE "SOUNDNESS" OF HAVING NO EMERGENCY PLAN FOR VIOLENT WEATHER AT THE 1985 JAMBO IN TIDEWATER VIRGINIA IN AUGUST.  NO CHANCE OF VIOLENT WEATHER THERE. 0___0 OR DISH-WASHING METHODS THAT VIOLATED STATE HEALTH LAWS IN ALL FIFTY STATES,  AND THAT STAYED IN PLACE TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER THE VIRGINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TOLD BSA, IN MY PRESENCE, TO CHANGE ITS TWO-TUB METHOD TO WASH, RINSE, STERILIZE OR GET SHUT DOWN.  THIS WAS A NEEDLESS SCANDAL AS THE "PROFESSIONALS" HAD BEEN WARNED BY A MERE WITH A PHD IN MICROBIOLOGY AND A SECOND PHD IN PUBLIC HEALTH, LATER A DEPARTMENT HEAD AT WHO,  BUT HE WAS A MERE,  SO, HE WAS IGNORED, UNTIL THE FORT HOSPITAL FILLED WITH DYSENTERY CASES, AND THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH  DESCENDED IN NO MOOD TO BE TOLD THEY HAD NO AUTHORITY ("YOU CAN'T TELL US HOW TO WASH DISHED.").  SOME NAVY DOCTORS (WOOL DRESS UNIFORMS IN THAT STEAM BATH!)  OTHER MERES, CONVINCED THOSE IN CHANGE THAT THE EVENT PERMIT COULD BE PULLED VERY QUICKLY; THIRD TUBS WERE DISTRIBUTED (WITH NO INSTRUCTION); AND THE JAMBO LURCHED ON. "SOUND" ? OR COERCING MILITARY PERSONNEL TO BRUSH-HOG FIELDS OF POISON SUMAC FOR TENT CAMP SITES.  OH, THAT WORKED WELL. 0___0   AND THE FOOD DISTRIBUTION WAS NOT ADJUSTED FOR THREE DAYS, LEADING TO WILD NIGHTS AT THE COMMISSARY  IN OUR SUBCAMP WITH 800 EXTRA MOUTHS TO FEED.  GOOD THING THE TRUCK OF WATERMELONS FOR NATIONAL STAFF ENDED UP AT OUR "DOOR" AT 3AM, WITH THE DRIVER JUST BEGGING FOR SOMEONE, ANYONE, TO TAKE DELIVERY.  WE TRADING WATERMELON FOR OTHER FOOD TO FEED THE KIDS. BIG INVESTIGATION WAS GRIST FOR THE LAUGH MACHINE.  STAFF LOST THEIR WATERMELON; KIDS GOT FED., THANKS TO THE MERES. SOME OF THE FINEST PEOPLE AND  SCOUTERS I HAVE KNOWN WERE SCOUTING  EMPLOYEES, EVEN A DEPARTMENT HEAD AT NATIONAL.  SOME HAD MORE HORROR STORIES THAN I HAD EVER IMAGINED, SOME OF WHICH I HEARD ONLY AFTER THEY RETIRED OR QUIT.  I NEVER ASKED, AS SUCH.  THE RECOLLECTIONS JUST CAME OUT IN CONVERSATIONS. "YOU WERE AT A.P. HILL IN '85?" EVER HEAR ABOUT "PROFESSIONALS" SITING A JAMBO IN THE BOTTOM OF A BOWL WITH NO DRAINAGE, EVEN WHEN PARK EMPLOYEES TOLD THEM IT WAS A BAD IDEA?  IN PA.  IN SUMMER.  ASK ABOUT MORE-RAIN.  "SOUND."  HA!
    • Tahawk, Referring to your numbers: 1.  Scouting has evolved as society has changed.  If it had not and still did the same things with the same uniforms, it would be an anachronism.  So sound. 2.  Until the 1980's, there was no policy on gays.  Ben Love announced a policy (I do not know how that was decided but would imagine that the National Executive Board approved) in the 1980's that aligned with public sentiment at the time.  The decision soon came under attack.  Dale was an important decision and principle.  Retrospectively, the best course would have been to drop prohibitions on gays very soon rather than years after the decision.  Research studies have not shown an increased incidence in child sexual abuse in gays than heterosexuals and society had changed in its acceptance of gays.  Scouting does not adhere to any religious tradition so a quicker change would have been better.  So the appropriate decision though likely delayed more than would have been ideal. 3.  That is not my experience in my local council.  Cannot comment on other councils. 4.  Who determines the recipients of those awards?  It is not the National Council but rather the local councils and usually the volunteers who make those determinations.  Some councils and districts across the country are more likely to be rigorous. 5.  Those problems were decades ago and have been addressed by measures to prevent the fraud.  That is why volunteers in the units must sign off on all members - adult and youth. 6.  Volunteers DO run Scouting.  They chair all national committees, are the only people who can vote, make all policies, make all program changes, determine budgets, etc.  Volunteers run the BSA.  Many or perhaps most are currently volunteering at the local level or did so in the last few years. 7.  This is a very complex and delicate subject that I shall not comment upon at this time. 8.  The BSA felt that the SE should be the reporter of YP issues.  That was shown to be a faulty policy as some states had begun making mandated reporter laws that meant that those who first find an indication are required to report.  The BSA changed the training to reflect that.  This happened as laws were being promulgated so was the appropriate action.   The BSA has not always made the best decision when viewed retrospectively, but the actions were taken with the best intentions by successful men and women who carefully considered all the evidence and made the best decision at the time.  They are good people how are intelligent, successful, and very dedicated to Scouting.  They are volunteers who love Scouting just as do we.
    • There is nothing to indicate the CRT is what the badge will be based on. Maybe an open mind?  
    • I do not even know where to start.  Equity is not the idea that everyone should get the same outcome.  Wherever you got your definition, it is a corruption of the idea of fairness and having an opportunity - as in everyone should have the same opportunity.  Same with your definition of inclusion and diversity.    BSA has pretty much already articulated what their intent is and how it is absolutely inline with scouting.  There is nothing Marxist (or socialist, or communist).   And if BSA was turning  into a Marxist organization where everyone is made Eagle, I would think adding a new requirement might be the last thing they would do.  Don’t you think they would eliminate requirements....  
    • Yes, you heard right.  I saw the plans last summer and you could have heard my chin hit the ground.  I will write more about this later but right now I am still too mad about the decision to move on this project.  I want to finish my day of Thanksgiving on a positive note.
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