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  2. I can't imagine it working any way but turning into being a den leader. If I want to tell a bunch of kids what to do, I'll stay with my pack.
  3. It's always fun to read something that just flat out does not fit in to the usual ideas. I certainly don't know how many kids are confused about their sex but my guess is every kid is confused about how they fit in. And the beauty of scouts is everyone is welcome. The only expectation is to try.
  4. Everything SA has published about the Patrol Method in the last 49 years has lacked depth, or worse, was incorrect, although all the bits and pieces were here and there until very recently. Now even the scattered piece-parts are mostly gone. This is an understandable situation because few - if any - at National Counsel know what the Patrol Method is - or was. It was, for example, never BP'S "Patrol System," in which the "Patrol Leader" was always appointed by the "Officer" - the Scoutmaster. Bill was two generations younger and lacked BP's background as a Victorian Lieutenant General. Bill built our "Patrol Method" with elected leaders - a school for representative democracy. The only "win" for Scouting in the 13th ed. was the statement that a troop is formed of patrols ( rather than from Scouts ). How that was slipped in by the real Scouters is a mystery, since BSA has been troop, troop, troop since the "Improved Scouting Program" cost BSA millions of members in the awful early 1970s. Then, too, they knew better than the mere volunteers - or Bill. Given decades of failure to train adults about Scouting, few of them understand the significance of that fragment of wisdom. "One, two, three, four or five Patrols may form a Troop, but the Patrols are the working unit whenever practical and the Troop organization is designed to provide supervision, coordination, institutional loyalty and service." B.S.A., The Patrol Method, 1938 ed. at p. 3. Look at the odious BSA model Troop Meeting Plan for the last couple of generations - 5 or ten minutes for the patrol - to be spent, we care told, on business. That's backwards under the Patrol Method., where a Scout is to primarily experience Scouting, if not BSA, in a patrol context.
  5. TAHAWK

    Patrol Method/System Resources

    Others seeking ideas/guidance may come here in even more years to come.
  6. Saltface

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    We use a local Frisbee golf course for this requirement. There are enough trees, washes, and other obstacles that the baskets/control points are out of sight and require the occasional boxing. If you want to increase the difficulty, you can give the scouts a map and a list of coordinates and make them determine the bearing and distance. The bearing and distance lists that comprise most scout orienteering courses aren't terribly useful in the real world. CalTopo is pretty nice. Store.USGS.gov has more data, but you'll either need a plotter or familiarity with Photoshop/Acrobat to print 8.5x11 maps.
  7. TMSM

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    I have worked hard to recruit in house MBs for all Eagle required badges (except swimming) so we try to keep them from taking those at MBUs. My biggest issue is that scouts will sign up and take the class then come back to me with a "blue card" to sign. No guidance, no choice of MB counselor all legit according to the rules.
  8. mrkstvns

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    I've seen permanent orienteering courses that were set up by scouts in local parks as an Eagle project. It's a great project, but unfortunately, they need to be walked and maintained periodically otherwise markers go missing. People in your district will likely know about existing courses. The Orienteering MB booklet is indeed a good basic intro. This short PDF can quickly give you the essentials: https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/images/uploaded/downloads/dev_poc_poc_webpage_how_to_set_up_poc.pdf
  9. MikeS72

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    Excellent, reasoned, and rational.
  10. AltadenaCraig

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    Caltopo.com is fabulous. And for way more than an orienteering course: How many times have we scouters emphasized "a compass isn't much good without a map - and vice versa" when referencing the 10 essentials, only to accompany scouts on a campout or hike where at best only a few carry both? Good topographic maps are expensive, not to mention bulky & unwieldy for younger scouts, so until now it's been easy to justify slighting this "essential". But with caltopo.com no more excuses! We've saved .pdf's of caltopo.com maps we've created of our usual hangouts and distributed links as @qwazse suggests. Now we regularly see scouts referencing their own simple 8-1/2 x 11" maps. Our troop's overall map & compass skills have markedly improved since we discovered caltopo.com
  11. HashTagScouts

    Massachusetts summer camps

    Sorry, you are looking for comments on MA summer camps? I ask, as Sayre is not a traditional summer camp- they have a summer program, but it is not setup as overnight camping. While I can grasp your comments about Sayre, the reality is SoA did that open program so the property gets used as much as it was to get interest in Scouting. It isn't a camp that was getting a terrible amount of usage, especially considering how close it is to the major roadways. Units in their council on the other side of Boston would rather go their properties in NH than try and make the commute through Boston on a Friday night to get to Sayre. For summer camp programs, the following are CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT camps that have summer resident programs. If you haven't already booked in mid-April, availability may decide where you go versus where you wish to go (many are going to have weeks that are full at this point): Camp Location Camp Squanto Plymouth, MA Camp Resolute Bolton, MA Treasure Valley Scout Reservation Rutland, MA Moses Scout Reservation Russell, MA Yawgoog Scout Reservation Rockville, RI JN Webster Scout Reservation Ashford, CT Camp Mattuck Plymouth, CT Camp Sequassen New Hartford, CT Camp Workcoemen New Hartford, CT Ed Strang Scout Reservation Goshen, CT Camp William Hinds Raymond, ME Camp Bomazeen Belgrade, ME Camp Roosevelt Eddington, ME Camp Wanocksett Dublin, NH TL Storer Scout Reservation Barnstead, NH Wah Tut Ca Scout Reservation Northwood, NH Hidden Valley Scout Camp Gilmanton Iron Works, NH Camp Bell Gilmanton Iron Works, NH Mount Norris Scout Reservation Eden, VT As far as reviews: I wouldn't rank Wanockset or Resolute at the top part of my list of favorite camps, but to each their own. Every Scout should feel "their camp" is the best camp. My own preferences if I were trying to narrow down options to be helpful, I would look at Hidden Valley, Yawgoog, JN Webster, Squanto, Treasure Valley and Wah tut Ca. Yawgoog, Hidden Valley and JN Webster especially have put a lot of money in recent years to improve infrastructure and modernize the camp. I'll keep favoritism for Squanto out of this (my son will be staff there) 😀. If you are looking for other New England BSA camps for weekend camping: Camp Location Camp Norse Kingston, MA Camp Sayre Milton, MA Cachalot Scout Reservation Plymouth, MA Camp Buxton Rehoboth, MA Nobscot Scout Reservation Sudbury, MA Camp Greenough Yarmouthport, MA Camp Split Rock Ashburnham, MA Camp Duarte Martha's Vineyard, MA Camp Richard Nantucket, MA Champlin Scout Reservation Cranston, RI Buck Hill Scout Reservation Pascoag, RI Camp Aquapaug South Kingston, RI Sandsland Scout Reservation Block Island, RI Camp Pomperaug Union, CT Deer Lake Scout Reservation Killingworth, CT Camp Wah Wah Taysee North Haven, CT Hoyt Scout Reservation Redding, CT Seton Scout Reservation Greenwich, CT Camp Nutter Acton, ME Camp Gustin Sabbattus, ME Camp Carpenter Manchester, NH Lone Tree Scout Reservation Kingston, NH Camp Sunrise Benson, VT
  12. Cburkhardt

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    Scoutmaster Response on a Community Blog Friends: I post on a community blog in our metropolitan area that is viewed by a large number of parents interested in Scouting. A posting titled “Do you trust the BSA?” Started yesterday after the articles broke. Below is the post I made this AM: Scoutmaster’s Thoughts on Abuse I’m the Scoutmaster of the Scouts BSA Troop for girls in Washington, DC who has commented extensively on this site. You can read the previous lengthy postings if you are curious about how Scouts BSA Troop 248 for girls operates. As an initial matter, our majority-female Troop Committee and Scoutmaster staff strictly observe the current Youth Protection regulations of the BSA and the Episcopal Church. These are publicly posted on our Troop web site and are quite rigorous. I am happy to engage in a separate discussion string regarding how the system works and what those requirements are. I thought I would let the discussion play out a bit before I jumped-in to provide supplemental information. The postings so far demonstrate great concern about the numbers discussed in the media and this is good. Youth abuse is one of those topics where “we can’t allow a single instance” is really true. Most people reading this blog are looking for opportunities for their young people to have safe, fulfilling activities. Our society has consistent instances of youth abuse — that is just a fact. We look around us and see it occur in schools, churches and youth groups. Having been on the front lines of youth service organizations for a lifetime, my position is not to trust any organization — but to understand and, if appropriate, trust the individuals and ground level group. Always meet individually with at least a couple of the adult leaders to take their personality measure and understand how that group implements whatever youth protection rules apply to them. This includes teachers and coaches of school activities. Yes, most organizations have rules somewhere — it is the regular and transparent enforcement of those rules that counts in weighing the safety of your child. In our Scouts BSA Troop this plays out as follows. Each potential adult volunteer not only has to subject to a criminal background check and take the 2-hour youth protection course, but must also meet with us individually for at least an hour to explore the background, interests and motivations of the person. Each parent attends youth protection orientation and is required to discuss these issues with their own child. We check that this has occurred. Then, each and every activity is examined in advance to assure ourselves that we have the sufficient number of certified and cleared adult leaders to assure no child is ever alone without at least 2 leaders in proximity. Our notes to parents are replete with references to our policies and confirmation that we have arranged for sufficient youth protection coverage. This is what parents must come to an understanding of when evaluating the “trust” topic of this posting. The BSA has experienced instances of youth abuse as have schools, churches, athletic teams and other organizations. When I was a Scout in the 70’s, the only policy youth service organizations had was, I guess, whatever they thought made “common sense”. This usually relied on the individual leaders and parents to become aware of a problem and take action. That usually meant throwing the person out of the group, not letting the person back in and in limited instances informing law enforcement or the applicable child services agency. If we apply today’s standards and what we know now to that time, we instantly know more and different things should have been done. In the specific case of the BSA, back then the local-council leadership and employees were to evaluate the situation and if indicated took the above kinds of actions. If they took action, they reported it to the BSA national office, which put the person on its “ineligible volunteer” list. It is the unfortunate events combined with the existence and use of that list which has triggered the litigation we now see. While beyond the scope of this brief note, it is accurate to summarize that the BSA came to an understanding that it had to take a dramatically different approach in the early 1980’s, and began directly implementing better youth protection measures which are now considered the leading national standard. Instances of youth abuse diminished to a trace-level after that. Despite extensive measures, nothing will keep every evil perpetrator of this horrible crime from our youth service organizations, so there will be a low number of crimes that have occurred since then. Consequently, the names of reported individuals and the related incidents pre-date the change. Broadly-speaking, participants in BSA programs experience violations at a trace-level. Evil perpetrators know this and focus their criminal activities elsewhere where the is little or no vigilance. The BSA can, should and unavoidably will participate in providing a sense of justice to those who were harmed. It has been sued through the years and has paid millions in settlements when juries have found it did not sufficiently protect a young person. Now that states are eliminating the laws that required lawsuits to be filed within a certain time after the abuse event, there will be a cascade of lawsuits presenting allegations as far back as the 40’s. Most of the cases will relate to events from the early 80’s or before. The circumstance is that the sums juries will Award victims would vastly exceed by many factors the entire value of properties and endowments the BSA has, and the organization would cease to exist. The question therefore is: shall BSA programming be terminated and denied to current and future youth because of the incidents of the early 80’s and before? Some on this blog might be expected to desire this outcome based on a wish to eliminate this risk. Others have presented unrelated views based on recent membership policy changes or disappointment that the BSA is now offering programming to elementary-secondary aged girls. These other views have been vigorously debated on earlier postings, so I will not discuss those views. My judgement, based on direct experience, is that BSA programming is fundamentally safe, appropriate and popular with youth and parents and should be continued in its current safe format. There will be even more enhancements to the youth protection program as more is learned through the lawsuit proceedings and a likely financial reorganization bankruptcy filing. A financial reorganization bankruptcy is the best way to go in order to provide justice to as many as possible and in order to allow the BSA to keep what it needs to continue providing safe programming. It will allow everyone aggrieved to file claims on a national basis, have the BSA marshal assets to fund the claims, and keep only what it needs. It will cause more of the award amounts to go to more victims and substantially less to trial attorneys. The alternative is the termination of the BSA and payments a limited number who filed their lawsuits first. The BSA is a sound organization with very good intentions. We argue about its program because we value our children. This is good.
  13. Laxplr21

    Massachusetts summer camps

    Reviving this thread about recommended Massachusetts summer camps. For a new Scouts BSA troop of girls new to Scouting (but not all new to camping) have you any recommendations of great camps readily accessible from the Boston suburbs or the middle of Massachusetts? In particular any comments on recent year's experiences at Resolute, Treasure Valley, or Wanocksett? The closest one to Boston in the suburbs is the Camp Sayre or also known as New England Base Camp. This location was the camp at the old Boston Minuteman Council in Milton. There are places for camping and cabins. The camp is updated with an indoor swimming pool (used by a local swim club), high adventure course, and other programs that units and groups can pick and choose. Last but not least the camp is also available to the public. Groups throughout the area can use the facilities. business retreats, YMCA weekend camp outs, church groups, everybody has access to it. When I had my woodbadge weekend there, a YMCA group was using a couple of the cabins. The new Spirit of Adventer council has really made it a goal to spread scouting opportunities to the public and invite them in. Here is a link of the council camps with any information you may need. http://www.scoutspirit.org/camping-properties/
  14. DuctTape

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    Another thing about "obstacles" in the training to do the requirement (ie being tested) is to ensure the scouts know/understand/and can avoid obstacles by modifying the route; not just following a straight bearing. It is a good idea during the learning, to have them practice taking a bearing between controls which has a "water" obstacle in which they must deviate by either going around, or using a bridge.
  15. qwazse

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    Rock climbers look for those "little rock outcroppings" (usually any bright feature more than two pixels) for potentially new runs to rappel from. Always field test the course first. Preferably have someone who didn't set it up run it. A 10 foot cliff might not show up on a map with 20 foot contours, and even if it does, your boys might not notice. You might need to mark an obstacle like that on the map. Standard markings for control descriptions may be found here: https://orienteering.sport/iof/resources/control-descriptions/
  16. MattR

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    Google Earth is also a useful tool. Plot points and then use the ruler to get exact distance and bearings between points. Just verify the course. Little rock outcroppings, as seen on the computer, might be really steep and large to cross. Just sayin'. The scouts weren't so happy on that one. But we did talk about how to go around barriers.
  17. qwazse

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    I'll be interested to read Dr. Warren's peer-reviewed article. It will be some time before that's published, and I hope it's not delayed by court proceedings.
  18. RichardB

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    Encourage you to read your latest edition of Scoutingwire. You should have received yesterday. https://scoutingwire.org/ is where you can read the articles and Chief's corner. You can also sign up for it if for some reason you did not receive it directly.
  19. HelpfulTracks

    ALS/DYLC

    Unless something has changed I think you mean NLS/DYLC. National Leadership Seminar & Developing Youth Leadership Conference. NLS is for the youth and DYLC for the adults.(though some adults will sit in on NLS) There are similarities in these programs and NYLT/Wood Badge in the sense that communications, leadership, mentoring etc. are the focus. Some of the exercises and activities are similar. You are divided up into groups for roughly a day and a half of training. They are usually run by Region/Section Officers and Advisers, with the Occasional National Officer/Adviser in the mix. It is a good program, and like most training programs the best parts are the opportunities to exchange ideas and learn from others. I hope that helps some, and have a great weekend.
  20. mashmaster

    Trailer Recommendation

    that and the soap.... I do suggest drilling a few holes on the side so it doesn't become a mold trap as well.
  21. Eagle94-A1

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    Sad thing is that you will have some folks complain, push for recognition , and eventually get their Scout the MB.
  22. mashmaster

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    In many ways I agree whole heatedly with you. In general, people sign their kids up.... As an easy way to knock out several merit badges and the kids sit and watch. They can be good, but the responsibility leans on the director of the event to make sure to get the right instructors. Some instructors are great and the classes are great, the problem is you have no ability to advise the scout about which counselor to take. We all know some counselors that are amazing and others that just check off the merit badge. Both merit badges are equal but the experience is not the same. I have witnessed a scout get signed off for starting a fire for wilderness survival when he was unable to do it. I asked the boy and he said he didn't do it , dad was upset that we didn't give him credit, and the next campout the scout worked with an older scout that taught him how to do it.
  23. Thunderbird

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    An introduction to the Camping merit badge is one thing. Some of the requirements are "discuss" or "explain", so no problem there for partials. But how many of them had the requisite nights of camping? I'm guessing not many.
  24. qwazse

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    Then don't send your scouts there. Threaten to resign your position if anybody on the committee promotes that MBU. Put it in writing. Copy your district commissioners and executives, your scout executives, and the course director. If you have a scout who does not seem to have grasped the MB material that he should have, follow the procedure listed in the Guide to Advancement 7.0.4.7. The problem isn't bogus MBUs. The problem is not enough scouters pushing back against them.
  25. 5thGenTexan

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    Posted on my Council FB page today.... Today the National Council held a press conference call to address the inaccuracies and mischaracterizations that were made in yesterday’s press conferences held in New York and New Jersey. Below is the transcript for your review. Prepared Remarks of Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America I am here today to correct inaccuracies and mischaracterizations about our organization and the efforts we have taken to protect youth, which has been and continues to be our absolute top priority. First, I want to reiterate our steadfast support for victims of abuse. ▪ We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children. ▪ We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. ▪ We believe victims, we support them, and we pay for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice and we encourage them to come forward. In 2018, there were five known victims of sexual abuse in our Scouting programs at a time when there were 2.2 million youth in our programs. We steadfastly believe that one incident of abuse is one too many and we are continually improving all of our policies to prevent abuse. Experts note that among the general US population, one in six men have experienced sexual abuse or assault at some point in their lives. This is an unacceptable public health problem that must be addressed, and we seek to be part of the solution along with all other youth-serving organizations. Our volunteer screening database is a mechanism for keeping kids safe. Let me share with you the facts: ▪ ALL instances of suspected abuse are reported to law enforcement. We do not keep any reports of suspected abuse secret or hidden from the proper authorities. ▪ Long before there were smart phones, email, the internet, criminal databases, or other modern methods available to identify or track predators, the BSA took a vital step to help protect children from bad people by creating what is known as the Ineligible Volunteer Files, or the IV Files. Its purpose was to ensure that anyone seen as unfit to be a leader – even those not charged or convicted of any crime, would be removed and banned forever from our program. ▪ The creation of those files was just the first step in the BSA’s development of a comprehensive set of strategies designed to provide the best possible youth protection system. Today, record- keeping or databases such as ours are recommended by experts, including the CDC, as an important step in protecting children. ▪ While it has often been misunderstood and criticized, time and time again the IV Files, now called our Volunteer Screening Database, have successfully prevented potential predators from re- joining our organization and gaining access to youth. That is precisely why we have been maintaining these records since the 1920s. ▪ We have a very low threshold for removing someone from our scouting programs. Individuals are added to our Volunteer Screening Database based on suspected or known violations of our policies. They don’t need to have been arrested or convicted of a crime to be added to the database. This is because our priority is to protect kids, first and foremost, above all else. It is an ongoing tool the BSA uses to keep youth safe from potential perpetrators. I’d now like to introduce you to Dr. Janet Warren, a professor from the University of Virginia and a researcher and expert in sexual crimes against children. Dr. Warren has spent her career analyzing and profiling sexual offenders and serves as the University of Virginia liaison to the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit. The BSA engaged Dr. Warren in 2011 to review the files maintained in our Volunteer Screening Database and analyze ways that the BSA could further improve its youth protection efforts. The BSA publicly released Dr. Warren’s first report in 2012. In our efforts to continually be on the forefront of youth protection, the BSA asked Dr. Warren to continue her work and evaluation of our database and barriers to abuse. She is in the final stages of that report. Dr. Warren has reached a number of conclusions as the work has progressed and we’ve asked her to be here today to speak to her work with us. Prepared Remarks of Dr. Janet Warren, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences (PNBS) at the University of Virginia • Good afternoon. I’d like to speak about the body of work I have done for the BSA since my initial report in 2012 and provide context to some of the figures presented in the media. I reviewed full, complete and unredacted files from the BSA that have been commonly referred to as the confidential files, perversion files or, as the BSA now refers to them, the Volunteer Screening Database. My team of researchers analyzed the data to see what attributes, patterns or profiles could be gleaned from the incidents. We made several key observations and we are in the process of finalizing our work. • I’d like to share with you some of the most salient findings today. I anticipate being able to present the work in a comprehensive manner sometime this summer. • First, one of the key observations we made is that the data demonstrated that the Scouting program is safe and the BSA’s use of a database to prevent unsuitable adults from accessing children was cutting edge and it worked. Even through the years when there were no computers, the BSA’s efforts were effective in keeping unsuitable volunteers from gaining access to youth in the Scouting program. • The rate of incidence of reported abuse in BSA programs was far less than the rate of incidence in society as a whole. And the data shows that the BSA’s youth protection efforts since the 1980’s have been highly effective in preventing abuse. • Second, there is no evidence of a coverup by the Boy Scouts of America. • 100% of all cases reported over the last 50 years were reported to law enforcement. • Additionally, as experts in this area agree, there is no profile of an offender that can be discerned from the data. The research underscores the importance of moving beyond simplistic and overly inclusive explanations of child sexual abuse. • Finally, the research underscores the need for a national database to track persons unsuitable to work with youth, similar to the one the BSA has used for almost 100 years. Criminal records checks and sexual offender registries based upon criminal convictions are inadequate to protect against offenders who have never been arrested or convicted. Prepared Remarks of Erin Eisner, Chief Strategy Officer for the Boy Scouts of America ▪ My name is Erin Eisner, and I’m the BSA’s Chief Strategy Officer for Culture and People. I am also a mom of two Scouts. My son joined as a Cub Scout, and my daughter and I are thrilled that she is now a member of Scouts BSA. ▪ I’d like to pick up where Dr. Warren left off to discuss what we are doing to help keep kids safe, both inside and outside of Scouting. While our database has served to keep millions of children safe in our Scouting programs, we have learned a lot over the years, and we want to share that with other youth servicing organizations. We know that our policies and barriers to abuse can help prevent child sex abuse throughout our communities and across all organizations. ▪ Experts agree that one of the most effective ways to prevent predators from having access to children is to track data on those individuals who have violated youth protection policies or have even been suspected of violating those policies. Specifically, the Center for Disease Control looked at the issue of keeping kids safe in youth serving organizations in 2007 and noted that databases such as the one BSA uses are a recognized method of protecting children from predators. As you’ve heard today, the BSA has employed this practice since virtually the inception of our organization. ▪ We are eager to share the information contained in our database with other youth serving organizations. That is why we’ve advocated for and will continue to push for the creation of a national database to serve as a clearing house for all youth serving organizations. Our vision, and one shared by others working hard in this space to protect youth, is that all youth serving organizations would be required to track and document those adults who have harmed children or have been suspected of harming children and report this information into a national registry. Similar to the National Sex Offender Public Website maintained by the Department of Justice, our goal is the creation of a registry for those who seek to work with children. This would reduce the risk that potential abusers could gain access to children by moving or going to another youth-serving organization after being removed. We are working with other groups and organizations such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the CDC to see how we can assist in this critical development. We’ve also called on Congress to partner in these efforts and to develop legislative mechanisms to facilitate this national database into a reality. ▪ We are optimistic about these efforts because we know they will make a difference – we have seen firsthand the impact they’ve had on our own organization’s steps to protect children. ▪ Children in our Scouting programs are safe today. Millions of children participate in and benefit from the character building and leadership activities in our programs – without incident. Parents can be confident in our program today and be proud of our efforts to protect children while they learn, have fun and experience Scouting as it was intended. I am confident in this. ▪ I am an Executive with the BSA but first and foremost, I am a mother. And my heart breaks for any child that has experienced the tragedy and trauma of abuse. If I felt, for a second, that Scouting was unsafe, I would not be associated with nor advocate for the BSA. To the contrary, I am confident in our program and confident in our efforts to protect children. My own daughter and son are both members of Scouts BSA and participate in Scouting locally in a dynamic and safe troop here in Dallas. I have no reservations about their participation and am excited to see more and more children, across the country, including record numbers of young women, be introduced to the Scouting program. +++
  26. TAHAWK

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    Can you spell "MILL"? It's the new BSA way.
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    • I can't imagine it working any way but turning into being a den leader. If I want to tell a bunch of kids what to do, I'll stay with my pack.
    • It's always fun to read something that just flat out does not fit in to the usual ideas. I certainly don't know how many kids are confused about their sex but my guess is every kid is confused about how they fit in. And the beauty of scouts is everyone is welcome. The only expectation is to try.
    • Everything SA  has published about the Patrol Method in the last 49 years has lacked depth, or worse, was incorrect, although all the bits and pieces were here and there until very recently.  Now even the scattered piece-parts are mostly gone.  This is an understandable situation because few - if any - at National Counsel know what the Patrol Method is - or was.  It was, for example, never BP'S "Patrol System," in which the "Patrol Leader" was always appointed by the "Officer" - the Scoutmaster.  Bill was two generations younger and lacked BP's background as a Victorian Lieutenant General. Bill built our "Patrol Method" with elected leaders - a school for representative democracy. The only "win" for Scouting  in the 13th ed. was the statement that a troop is formed of patrols ( rather than from Scouts ).  How that was slipped in by the real Scouters is a mystery, since BSA has been troop, troop, troop since the "Improved Scouting Program" cost BSA millions of members in the awful early 1970s.  Then, too, they knew better than the mere volunteers - or Bill.  Given decades of failure to train adults about Scouting, few of them understand the significance of that fragment of wisdom.   "One, two, three, four or five Patrols may form a Troop, but the Patrols are the working unit whenever practical and the Troop organization is designed to provide supervision, coordination, institutional loyalty and service."  B.S.A., The Patrol Method, 1938 ed. at p. 3. Look at the odious BSA model Troop Meeting Plan for the last couple of generations - 5 or ten minutes for the patrol - to be spent, we care told, on business.  That's backwards under the Patrol Method., where a Scout is to primarily experience Scouting, if not BSA, in a patrol context.  
    • Others seeking ideas/guidance may come here in even more years to come.
    • We use a local Frisbee golf course for this requirement. There are enough trees, washes, and other obstacles that the baskets/control points are out of sight and require the occasional boxing. If you want to increase the difficulty, you can give the scouts a map and a list of coordinates and make them determine the bearing and distance. The bearing and distance lists that comprise most scout orienteering courses aren't terribly useful in the real world. CalTopo is pretty nice. Store.USGS.gov has more data, but you'll either need a plotter or familiarity with Photoshop/Acrobat to print 8.5x11 maps.
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