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  2. The Latin Scot

    Girl Scouts vs. School Dress Code

    Realistically speaking, I have never seen uniforms being used a means of exclusion amongst Scouts - obviously, nobody is going to send a Scout home because he doesn't have a uniform. But as Baden-Powell put it in the 1908 edition of Scouting For Boys: The Scout kit, through its uniformity, now constitutes a bond of brotherhood among boys across the world. The correct wearing of the Uniform and smartness of turnout of the individual Scout makes him a credit to our Movement. It shows his pride in himself and in his Troop. One slovenly Scout, on the other hand, inaccurately dressed may let down the whole Movement in the eyes of the public. Show me such a fellow and I can show you one who has not grasped the true Scouting spirit and who takes no pride in his membership of our great Brotherhood. Also, from 1913: I HAVE said before now: “I don’t care a fig whether a Scout wears uniform or not so long as his heart is in his work and he carries out the Scout Law.” But the fact is that there is hardly a Scout who does not wear a uniform if he can afford to buy it. The spirit prompts him to it. The same rule applies naturally to those who carry on the Scout Movement — the Scoutmasters and Commissioners; there is no obligation on them to wear uniform if they don’t like it. At the same time, they have their positions to think of others rather than themselves. Personally, I put on uniform, even if I have only a Patrol to inspect, because I am certain that it raises the moral tone of the boys. It heightens their estimation of their uniform when they see it is not beneath a grown man to wear it; it heightens their estimation of themselves when they find themselves taken seriously by men who also count it of importance to be in the same brotherhood with them. Uniforms are not the point of Scouting, but they are certainly one of the symbols of this movement, and we want our young people to identify with that symbol. When youth look differently, they feel differently, and when they feel differently, they act differently. The more we can get them into their uniforms, the better. I feel that goes double for leaders.
  3. HashTagScouts

    Ad Altare Dei Counseling

    I have been a mentor for this award, and make sure you read through the book and make note of the various "project" components in each section. There are requirements to make posters/presentations, to conduct a service project, the day retreat, visiting the church, etc. My groups have met for 1 1/2 hour meetings bi-weekly, total of 9 meetings just to do the book work. Some of those "project" things the kids had to do on their own at home to bring to the meetings. The target age group of this award is 11-13 year olds, but I've had 9th graders do it and say it was a lot of work.
  4. Today
  5. T2Eagle

    Girl Scouts vs. School Dress Code

    Out of curiosity, you say in BSA we wear a uniform for a reason, what is the reason you would give for that? It's surely not because the uniform is a superior way to dress for outdoor activities. The uniform can be appropriate attire, but it can also be incorrect depending on the activity and the uni. In our troop we preach no cotton on winter outings, but there are certainly cotton uniforms, even the poly ones are good but not superior to other clothing. I still believe in the uniform, but just to push back a little, did your players wear their baseball uniform every time they met as a team? For practice, for banquets? And why did they have uniforms? In sports it distinguishes between opposing teams, but in scouts we don't have an opposing team and the better we're doing scouting the better chance there's nobody around but us. Our troop does a lot in uniforms, but we never send a scout home because he doesn't have one.
  6. qwazse

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    Disk-golf courses are a genius idea! In general: Do limit the physical obstacles until the scouts are comfortable working their compass. review 2nd class requirement 3.a. before every orienteering challenge. teach scouts to talk with one another and check each other's measurements. go over any controls that the scouts mess keep score. Don't think that one orienteering challenge is enough let scouts get discouraged if they can't finish a course the first day they try one. pass scouts if they can't find at least 80% of markers.
  7. Ranman328

    Girl Scouts vs. School Dress Code

    Sorry but I was a baseball coach and now a Scoutmaster. In BSA, we wear a uniform for a reason. If one of my players showed up not in his baseball uniform then you dint play. My question to the people pushing back on the uniform is this. Would you show up at your Softball, baseball, soccer, football, lacrosse, hockey game wearing jeans and a T-Shirt and expect to play? No, why? Because it doesn't fit to the activity. We wear a uniform,. If you don't want to wear one, don't join.
  8. Eagle94-A1

    Ad Altare Dei Counseling

    When I did it back in the day, it could take a year. Part of that was you had to go on a retreat. I did mine in about 6 months, but we were also doing other Scout stuff. Don't remember many details except the retreat and going to the cathedral for the archbishop to present it to us.
  9. Our troop is planning on starting an Ad Altare Dei program, the BSA religious award for Roman Catholic scouts, for interested scouts in our troop and a couple other local troops. The materials say the program could take 6-8 months but it doesn't seem at irst brush that it should take that long to compete. Has anyone run this program or seen it run recently? How long did it take? How often did you meet? Any starting tips you'd like to pass along?
  10. T2Eagle

    Girl Scouts vs. School Dress Code

    I don't know about satin hats or bonnets, whatever the heck that means. But I've looked pretty rough when dropping my kids off at school, and once or twice when I noticed they left something important on the back seat, say lunch or some paper that needed to be turned in that morning I turned around and took it into school --- I didn't care that I hadn't showered, shaved, dressed for work yet, etc. Of course I wasn't the only one. One cold morning on the way to school I noticed a car on the side of the road on an otherwise deserted stretch. On the way back about a mile further along I saw a gentleman dressed in cartoon print pajama bottoms, a hoody, and a pair of crocs. I pulled over and said "I bet you need a ride somewhere." Yup, his car died on the way home from dropping his own kids off.
  11. Yesterday
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. TAHAWK

    Patrol Method/System Resources

    Others seeking ideas/guidance may come here in even more years to come.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. MikeS72

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    Excellent, reasoned, and rational.
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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/
  24. 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.
  25. 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/
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
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    • Realistically speaking, I have never seen uniforms being used a means of exclusion amongst Scouts - obviously, nobody is going to send a Scout home because he doesn't have a uniform. But as Baden-Powell put it in the 1908 edition of Scouting For Boys:    The Scout kit, through its uniformity, now constitutes a bond of brotherhood among boys across the world.  The correct wearing of the Uniform and smartness of turnout of the individual Scout makes him a credit to our Movement.  It shows his pride in himself and in his Troop.  One slovenly Scout, on the other hand, inaccurately dressed may let down the whole Movement in the eyes of the public. Show me such a fellow and I can show you one who has not grasped the true Scouting spirit and who takes no pride in his membership of our great Brotherhood. Also, from 1913: I HAVE said before now: “I don’t care a fig whether a Scout wears uniform or not so long as his heart is in his work and he carries out the Scout Law.” But the fact is that there is hardly a Scout who does not wear a uniform if he can afford to buy it. The spirit prompts him to it. The same rule applies naturally to those who carry on the Scout Movement — the Scoutmasters and Commissioners; there is no obligation on them to wear uniform if they don’t like it. At the same time, they have their positions to think of others rather than themselves. Personally, I put on uniform, even if I have only a Patrol to inspect, because I am certain that it raises the moral tone of the boys. It heightens their estimation of their uniform when they see it is not beneath a grown man to wear it; it heightens their estimation of themselves when they find themselves taken seriously by men who also count it of importance to be in the same brotherhood with them. Uniforms are not the point of Scouting, but they are certainly one of the symbols of this movement, and we want our young people to identify with that symbol. When youth look differently, they feel differently, and when they feel differently, they act differently. The more we can get them into their uniforms, the better. I feel that goes double for leaders.
    • I have been a mentor for this award, and make sure you read through the book and make note of the various "project" components in each section.  There are requirements to make posters/presentations, to conduct a service project, the day retreat, visiting the church, etc.  My groups have met for 1 1/2 hour meetings bi-weekly, total of 9 meetings just to do the book work.  Some of those "project" things the kids had to do on their own at home to bring to the meetings.  The target age group of this award is 11-13 year olds, but I've had 9th graders do it and say it was a lot of work.
    • Out of curiosity, you say in BSA we wear a uniform for a reason, what is the reason you would give for that?  It's surely not because the uniform is a superior way to dress for outdoor activities.  The uniform can be appropriate attire,  but it can also be incorrect depending on the activity and the uni.  In our troop we preach no cotton on winter outings, but there are certainly cotton uniforms, even the poly ones are good but not superior to other clothing.  I still believe in the uniform, but just to push back a little, did your players wear their baseball uniform every time they met as a team?  For practice, for banquets?  And why did they have uniforms?  In sports it distinguishes between opposing teams, but in scouts we don't have an opposing team and the better we're doing scouting the better chance there's nobody around but us. Our troop does a lot in uniforms, but we never send a scout home because he doesn't have one.
    • Disk-golf courses are a genius idea! In general: Do limit the physical obstacles until the scouts are comfortable working their compass. review 2nd class requirement 3.a. before every orienteering challenge. teach scouts to talk with one another and check each other's measurements. go over any controls that the scouts mess keep score. Don't think that one orienteering challenge is enough let scouts get discouraged if they can't finish a course the first day they try one. pass scouts if they can't find at least 80% of markers.
    • Sorry but I was a baseball coach and now a Scoutmaster.  In BSA, we wear a uniform for a reason.  If one of my players showed up not in his baseball uniform then you dint play.  My question to the people pushing back on the uniform is this.  Would you show up at your Softball, baseball, soccer, football, lacrosse, hockey game wearing jeans and a T-Shirt and expect to play? No, why? Because it doesn't fit to the activity.  We wear a uniform,. If you don't want to wear one, don't join.  
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