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  1. 12 points
    Hi everyone, it's me, again, a moderator. It seems that the temperature on social media has gone up in the past week. I've seen some really ugly things posted on facebook recently by scouters I know. Bad enough that I'm wondering why I should even be in scouting anymore, much less trying to keep the peace on this forum. But then I remember that scouting is good for the world and I try for another day. While things are not too ugly here, I see people talking past each other. Buried down in the core of this argument is something worth discussing but instead people get hung up on peripheral comments that were either not well thought out or taken the wrong way. Either way they aren't helping getting any sort of solution to the core of the problem. What is very clear to me is that before anyone can deal with bigotry they have to first master Courteous.
  2. 7 points
    Not sure scandalous conveys the true stupidity that is The Summit. What was billed as a donation and 4th Crown Jewel is a grossly underused and over developed vanity project. Basically a development looking for relevance. Why is the BSA bankrupt? Look no further than $500 - $750 million shoved down a rat hole in West Virginia
  3. 7 points
    When I was a scout in the 1980s, I was a member of a troop that was not diverse, not because of anything that the Scouts had done, but because I grew up in an area where African American families were redlined out of their ability to live for an extended period of time. I didn't know that as a young scout, though as I got somewhat older and learned some of the complicated history of race and politics in the area I came to understand that the way things were when I was a kid depended on things that had been done many years before. It wasn't a value judgement about my troop or its actions, it wasn't a judgement about me, but the fact that it wasn't my fault didn't make it any less the reality and didn't make it any less unfair. I heard stories about issues of racism in Scouting, and I certainly witnessed events that made clear to me that the legacy of what had been done intentionally before -- and the reality of things that were still happening then -- meant that there were still forces and realities that affected some members of society in ways that I was not affected as a white learning-to-be-a-man. As a result, I can say I was proud when I received that email from BSA a few days ago, and -- though some have said that creating a new merit badge isn't substantial -- I thought that was actually a valuable step BSA could take in accordance with what Scouting is supposed to do, educate youth into valuable members of society. The requirements that are put in place are a statement by the organization of what is important. Swimming requirements have been in place for a long time. Sustainability became a merit badge when that was viewed as important. And now something focused on diversity and inclusion is being added as important. The goal of the program is to teach, and -- if the new badge is designed well, which given the references to American Cultures and American Heritage, I expect it to be -- I believe that it could make a real contribution to the youth that earn it understanding the complicated history of race in this country, since ignorance of that complexity is not a help in finding a path forward. I know that some of the merit badges I took as a scout had a lasting impact on my thinking, and I have watched my daughter grow through some of the citizenship and other merit badges she has been working on as well. In other places this has been characterized as a knee jerk reaction, but I am not sure that I see that. Having returned to scouting not too long ago since BSA opened to my daughter and because I agreed with the organization's changes to become more tolerant with respect to sexual orientation, I was planning on going to the Wood Badge session before coronavirus disrupted it -- since I felt that it was important that I learned what the organization thought I needed to know to do a good job. One of my mentors related to our current troop, a very long tenured Scouter, gave me a heads up that an element of diversity and inclusion had been part of the Wood Badge curriculum for some time now, and that I should think about how that would be part of my ticket -- though since I was working with a female troop, my ticket might be viewed as having that already as a part of it. So I don't see this as knee jerk, even if it is responding to events that are happening in real time. I also would push back on the characterizations of the content of that statement being anti-police and so somehow BSA not being "pro-police," and -- furthermore -- push back on setting up discussion as a conflict between people protesting for their rights and law enforcement. The history of policing in this country is also complicated, with extreme good and extreme ill. Use of force does fall more heavily on some than others, and the outcomes of interactions between law enforcement and individuals can differ based on more than just their behavior when that interaction happens. And the legacy of what law enforcement has been used for in our country's history, like the past events that led my troop to be all white, still have effects that persist to the present day. And before you tell me I don't understand police, I do. I work with police officers as part of my job. In watching through even the imperfect window that posted cell phone video has given into what has happened in the recent protests, I have seen much to be amazingly proud of in the officers who have successfully both protected public order and protected citizens' exercise of their Constitutional rights. That doesn't surprise me given some of the men and women I know who are officers and since the oath most of those officers took was to uphold the Constitution, so they have a responsibility to do both. But I have also seen behavior by officers that I cannot defend, even as someone who has much more knowledge about police tactics, equipment, and procedures than the average person and is less likely to jump to conclusions based on always incomplete evidence. I also am surprised to have seen in these postings over the last few days a thread of argument that it should be ok for things to be different in troops across the country, and that top down intervention to impose something like this new merit badge is somehow inappropriate. That has surprised me because, in so many other discussions, the argument seems to always be that there should be uniformity and fundamental standards, with statements like "the program is the program," "units that aren't doing the Patrol Method properly are doing it wrong," and "things must be done with the spirit of Scouting in mind." Some of that push back was in response to some posts of mine where I was asking questions that were interpreted as pushing boundaries beyond what scouting should be. But now, when this is the issue, local variation is now presented as the ideal rather than undermining the program. That troubles me and that, as much as anything, was why I came back to post -- since some of the push back I'd gotten before had led me to the conclusion that perhaps I wasn't as welcome at this campfire as I thought it was and should limit myself to lurking in search of tidbits of information that National hadn't yet gotten around to disseminating broadly to volunteers. When I came back to Scouting, I had been impressed by how things were changing. When my daughter said she wanted to join Scouts BSA -- since she'd been more interested in the stories I told about when I was a scout than what she'd heard about what our local girl scout troops were doing -- I actually sat down to have a sober talk with her about what she might be getting into. I prepared her for, frankly, discrimination because of how people might react to the change of co-ed Scouting based on what I remembered from my time as a scout years ago. Interesting that in an organization supposedly fully centered in the Scout Oath and Law, that was my concern going in. But she wasn't worried, and - at least so far - it turns out she was right. Even at a camporee far afield from our largely suburban area, the few small female troops who were there didn't get any more flak than the boy troops did, and when some came their way they -- and the scouts from their "brother troop" -- stood side by side and, in both a friendly and courteous way, explained to the source that they weren't living up to the Scout Oath and Law. And subsequently, when she started working on Scouting Heritage merit badge and was interviewing some of the people who were involved in the forming of their troop, I got more insight into why: when it was being discussed, there was actually some opposition among some adults to the idea of starting a female troop, so the committee decided to ask some members of the existing boy troop what they thought about the idea. And they advocated for doing it because they thought it was important. So, in this case, the "progressiveness" that I have heard criticized elsewhere on this board, with the implication it was coming from adults like me, was scout led. Which I have also heard here is how it should be done. Do I think a new merit badge will solve the complexities of race in America? No, but it is a step to provide an opportunity for some of the next generation to at least be exposed to some of the complicated history about it and think it through for themselves. My daughter learned more from one of the citizenship merit badge requirements that required her to rewrite a passage from one of our Founding documents in her own words than a week of some of her classes in school. In the scouts I have had the privilege to help support over the last few months, I have seen extremely intelligent and impressive individuals. I doubt that all will reach the same conclusions as they do the requirements of such a merit badge as I might, and I doubt that -- whatever the political persuasion of the author of the pamphlet -- the conclusions they will reach can be predetermined. But, it can expose them to some history that they might not encounter elsewhere, and then they will decide what they think for themselves. And, just as I think regarding the requirements of many other merit badges, we will all be better for that.
  4. 7 points
    The main problems with the "local option" argument are: 1.That is exactly what allowed segregation to exist in BSA troops until the 1970s. 2. Hypocritically, it was some outside COs, troops, councils,... who pushed the "no gay scouts & leaders" doctrine to disallow gay scouts and scouters in troops which were not theirs. The Dale case was the result. We know the rest. I understand some have significant personal objections regarding those who are gay. There were those who had significant objections to mixed race troops too. It took 50 years and we are mostly past the latter. Hopefully it won't take 50 more years to be mostly past the former too.
  5. 7 points
    Why would the BSA feel the need to wade into this? Does National not know the Scout oath and the Scout law? I just marked a Scouts rank advancement tonight about how he lives the law and the oath in his daily life. As Scouts that is what we are called to do. Does National not think we take take the law and the oath seriously. We must all share in the collective guilt, right. Purely political. Sad.
  6. 6 points
    Hey everyone, moderator here. This thread is a bit past Courteous. Comments are getting personal. I'd say the easiest way to fix it is to walk away from it for a day. YIS, MattR
  7. 6 points
    I have decided to look at this current situation and look at myself to see how I can work to make change, to do my part not to support or tolerate racism. I am adamant that the status quo is not enough. It obviously is not. It has not Contributed to changing the situation, and we have a significant number of our American population who are disenfranchised because racism is tolerated. I applause BSA for being willing to participate in the confersation, knowing that it has a national presence across this great country and can make a difference, and not just bury it head in the sand and refuse to see an issue or a way to resolve it. Scouts is all about being a change agent, it’s entire fundamental concept is creating men and women who are meaningful members of society, rocks for their community, and there to help those who need it. What makes it so unique and successful is the menthol in which it does this. discrimination of an y type does not have to be accepted. It has to be confronted. Otherwise women would not have the right to vote, blacks would still be slaves, pogroms of Jews would be allowed, etc. For being a melting pot of a nation, we constantly push back against discrimination - the Irish, the Italians, the Chinese, the Japanese. I believe in the scout oath and the scout law. And where is says a scout is brave, the scout needs to understand and learn how to stand up to racism, not let it see the light of day.
  8. 6 points
    So... BSA has decided to change the Eagle requirements AND add a new merit badge with little or no input from volunteers. Sort of on a whim. Great move. This falls into the "let's do something even if it's not well thought out" category BSA has decided to add to the required training for volunteers with little or no input. Another great move Not saying these are necessarily poor initiatives. They wreak of knee jerk reaction and a lack of actual leadership
  9. 6 points
    Well, he made it to Eagle! Had his Eagle Board of Review tonight. I am so proud of him and am very reflective on the journey. It started with him bringing the “flier” home from school as. 1st grader. He is headed of to college in August. I am so incredibly happy that Scouting found us.
  10. 5 points
    I didn't have enough PTO to go, but I went for pickup. Our troop did the merit badge camp when Powhatan canceled. The adults were extremely impressed with the precautions taken by the camp. Any activity where distancing wasn't possible was canceled. The troop was treated like one family. Merit badges had distancing and masks. Dining was separated. Everyone tented solo. Not a single participant reported ill. Any illnesses among participants is to be reported to Summit over the next 2 weeks. There were only 270 people there for the week. 700 are expected this coming week. We had many new scouts in our troop who did Brownsea Island. This was their first activity with the troop. They did really well. One new scout had to leave Friday night. He was so sad to leave, his mom said he cried in the car. Across the board, everyone said it was fantastic and well run. They want to go back. Negatives were the fact that activities, dining, etc. are very far apart. There's very little shade anywhere. We usually go to Ottari and I never used sunscreen since we were in the shade almost all the time, except swimming. They also said the very cold showers were not joyful. Other than that, they said it was great. Everyone was so grateful to be able to attend and for all the work BSA did to make it work.
  11. 5 points
    Perhaps the mothers would like to give us the title Unich. Short for Unit Chief.
  12. 5 points
    " I have thought for some time now that the roots of racism in our country lie in the fundamental inability of white people to see black people as human in the same way they see themselves." No. The concept that my many black co-workers, a couple of black good friends, and my black GP might not be human has never entered my mind. (Oh, I forgot that my daughters boyfriend is from Liberia, so I guess that he is considered black; even though his English is crisper than my own.) But why should I waste my time protesting my racist label? I am a Caucasian who refuses to genuflect at the BLM altar, so I am obviously a racist. Do I think that blacks are not human? Absolutely not, but I pride myself on having an open mind; so, keep talking...
  13. 5 points
    Rather than a merit badge, it feels like this is more something akin to the Cyberchip. Make it required for an earlier rank and a catch up at Star rank. If the intention is to have everyone take it for Eagle, only a few will take it and they will leave it to the very end of the Eagle journey.
  14. 5 points
    Here's another idea: Make scouting more available to kids in poor neighborhoods. Rather than describe and discuss, do. I read a discussion among some people trying to figure out how to reduce violence in poor neighborhoods. A study was brought up in which three different approaches were tried. The first was increase police. The second was increase social workers. The third was replace dilapidated buildings with parks and playgrounds. The first two did very little but the third made a substantial impact. They also mentioned how important youth programs are. They mentioned Boys and Girls Clubs but not scouts.
  15. 5 points
    My concern is that BSA after bankruptcy will be very different organizationally and financially, but will carry on with no real changes to Cub Scouting or Scouts BSA. That is, steady membership loss will continue. The pandemic is a big problem but is a distraction from BSA's biggest problem. The bankruptcy is a huge -- indeed, existential -- problem, but is neither a result of nor a symptom of BSA's biggest problem. BSA's biggest problem is not the substance and content of the program at the Cub Scout and Scouts BSA levels. It is that BSA is not delivering the Cub Scout and Scouts BSA program at the unit level in a way that attracts non-Scout youth and in a way that holds the interest of youth already in the program.
  16. 5 points
    After logging into Scoutbook this morning; I had to share a screen shot for my personal kids: Even with a 3 year age gap between them, they have both earn the title of Eagle within 7 months of each other. The younger one even finished it during COVID 19.
  17. 5 points
    "One-and-done" rank requirements and their partner in crime, the "no re-testing" rule, are so ingrained in our advancement-centered Scout culture that they will never be changed. The only way to keep Scouts current in their skills is through practice and competition. Now, suppose an adult Rovering organization were to catch on, with BPSA-like "skill proficiency" badges that required annual or bi-annual re-testing. The pride of the Scouter/Rover adults in their skills, and the cool badges to accompany them, could inspire (what else?) more new non-advancement awards that youth could earn - and re-earn on a regular basis. As I see it, the real value of a Rover organization would be the ability of adults to shed their leader responsibilities for a little while to gather together and be Scouts, to practice patrol method and focus on outdoor skill development, and along the way train new adult leaders by example and hands-on practice and war stories around a campfire.
  18. 5 points
    We live in sad times. It is the worst of closed minded intolerance to destroy art, statues and rename the past. In no way does enjoying art or remembering the past exist as a modern statement advocating for returning to the past. In no way does hiding the past promote enlightenment. Each time I see something like this I think about the Buddhas of Bamyan that were destroyed. I think of book burning. I think of hate and intolerance. Baden Powell was not perfect. He was a man of his times who did extraordinary things. If he isn't worthy of a statue, no one is.
  19. 5 points
    Under the agreement approved Monday, local councils wanting continued protection from litigation must sign agreements by July 6 requiring them to provide information to the Boy Scouts about their finances, including real estate holdings, for sharing with creditor committees. ... “The debtors should not be forced to monetize those assets (High Adventure camps - Summit, Philmont , Sea Base, Northern Tier) to satisfy the claims of creditors,” said Boy Scouts attorney Jessica Boelter. IMHO, the High Adventure Camps should go before local camps. In normal times, far more scouts attend local camps. My $0.02, https://www.abqjournal.com/1464494/suits-remain-halted-mediation-eyed-in-boy-scouts-bankruptcy.html
  20. 4 points
    Sorry I couldn't resist.
  21. 4 points
    I vote to borrow the term "Advisor" from the old Exploring and now Venturing program.. With new emphasis that the adult Scouters are there to "advise" the "Leaders" who are the SPL and PLC. The do not decide, they do not dictate, they facilitate. The advise the program that the YOUTH decide on, and ensure safety and adherence to the GTA and GTSS. In the decades that I have been associated with the program, I have seen the gradual "helicopterism" taking over such that the youth merely sit there and wait for instructions from the adults. You don't sign me up for a MB University, I don't earn MB. You don't spoonfeed me advancement and sign me off because I sat there and listened to a lecture, no rank. No direction, no action taken. It's the way we are raising them, and it's wrong. I have family members with "kids" pushing 30 who still can't function as adults. It's sad.
  22. 4 points
    If that comes to pass BSA will have jumped the shark... We as a nation have truly lost our minds and common sense.
  23. 4 points
    I will treat you as you treat me, hopefully with mutual respect, love and friendship. When you resort to violence, looting, destruction and vandalism, you have lost me, and I no longer care what your cause is...you are a common criminal and no better than those you protest against.
  24. 4 points
    it simply isn't true that the law is clear on this, and that use of these accounts within reason is a clear violation of the law or IRS regulations, or is contingent simply on the idea that one won't get caught. I hold a law license, I asked a friend who is a tax practitioner to take a hard look at this, and their conclusion was that individual accounts, at least as we use them and as most troops do, are not a violation of either the letter or the spirit of the federal statutes and IRS regulations. As Fred8033 said, ask a different tax lawyer and you can get a different answer, I would bet that if you ask a third you'll probably get yet a third answer. Some day, maybe, a federal court will provide a clarifying opinion that will most likely fall somewhere amongst those three legal opinions. Laws are often not written in a way that they can provide an answer to every question that might arise. Regarding scout accounts, it just is not at all clear that Congress in writing its laws, or the IRS in promulgating their regulations interpreting and implementing those laws, intended to remove the protections of non exempt status from our large, complex, several thousand member CO church just because Johnny scout only pays $100 for summer camp while Jimmy scout has to pay $300 because Johnny out hustled Jimmy at popcorn selling. You can feel strongly that your interpretation of the law is more correct, but that doesn't mean that those with a differing opinion are acting in bad faith.
  25. 4 points
    I'm in favor of requiring Scouts to demonstrate virtue signaling, so long as it is done in Morse Code.
  26. 4 points
    Anyone remember the ' shrieking girl " at Yale? Or the madness at Evergreen Collage? Or the riots at Berkley? We older folks just shook our heads and said " Just wait until they graduate and move into the real world, they're in for a real shock. Then they'll grow up." Well they graduated and turns out that WE are the ones who are shocked. They haven't grown up, and the really terrifying thing is I don't think they are going to until its way to late. Some of the political leaders are obviously using the mob to further their own ends. But a mob is a dangerous thing. Ask Maximilian Robespierre.
  27. 4 points
    An interesting anecdotal article. Sorry for what happened in his experience. From that one experience he decides to then paint with a very very broad brush Too many involved in the BSA are Trump supporters, bullish on his foreign and economic policies, silent when it comes to his stoking of racial divisions. So now we see the real reason for his article. Not an honest comment on BSA and it's policies, but a soapbox to criticize the President. And he has every right to, but if you are going to do that own that criticism and be straightforward. Then he again makes a very very broad statement or assumption Racism seems to be at the heart of scout leadership because racism is at the heart of America. I’m encouraged by the BSA’s change of direction. Still, I can’t help thinking that if scouting really were about “character and leadership,” as the BSA said in its earlier, inadequate statement, the organization would have done something about the racism within its ranks a long, long time ago. That is a very damning statement and one that is not backed up by any actual data or realism. That is like going to a chain restaurant and having a bad experience and claiming that all 3,000 locations are bad due to that one sampling. Writer needs to be honest. Yes he seems to have had a bad experience in one troop. However if you assume bad intentions and look for the worst everywhere, you will likely find it.
  28. 4 points
    @Liz As a 26 year veteran of the armed forces, I spent more of my career supporting humanitarian missions around the world than I did supporting combat operations under the orders of my civilian governments, which you (we) elected. Your comment shows an incredible level of ignorance, and is downright unscoutlike. I recommend you delete it yourself before the moderators do.
  29. 4 points
    I am Conservative and I am Catholic. I just don't believe my views need to be part of a youth community organization to which all are welcome. Or should be.
  30. 4 points
  31. 4 points
    I disagree. I can't disagree with any of these initiatives. Discrimination is wrong on every level
  32. 4 points
    Any chance we can borrow Bear for a few years?
  33. 4 points
    In 2010, the International Scout Bureau released an article on MI5 and MI6 papers from the Nazi era relating to Scouting. It has much to reflect on even today... Some key quotes Finally, The link is here.
  34. 4 points
    Yes, but they learn so much more! And the price is 50 to 80% less! I took a crew of 8 for a week on the Delaware River last August for just over $120 per person, including gas and tolls for the drivers. (We used our own canoes, kayaks, and accoutrement.) Canoeing MB, 50 miler award, NPS Scout Ranger Award, and a darned good time!
  35. 4 points
    Agreed. Also, high adventure opportunities would still exist. A patrol could still plan a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters, or a backpacking along the AT, PCT CDT, etc. One might argue it would be better as the decisions and planning necessary for a patrol to embark on a HA trip would help scouts grow. If they wanted to just "pay money for the services" like current BSA HA, there already exist many outfitters and guide services to fill that void. Though I would encourage all adults to steer scouts towards planning and executing their own adventures, even the high adventure ones.
  36. 4 points
    Well what do you know, that's the perfect description of why I'm not a fan of BSA training. I keep telling scouts if they really knew the material they were trying to teach it would be really easy to both teach it and easier to come up with fun events to use it. I went and read the BPSA Pathfinder manual. In all honesty I really liked it. It stops at First Class. Very little describe, discuss, explain. Lots of practical do. Some MB's, like first aid, require retesting every year, just like the adults. Senior proficiency badges. And the capstone req for First Class is to go on a 14 mile backpacking trip or 30 mile bike trip on your own or with another scout that goes overnight. No eagle, but hey, no eagle! The scouts would have to figure out what they want to do. That and it would be a lot cheaper.
  37. 3 points
  38. 3 points
    Don't get upset. Learn from it. I know you don't want to hear me say it, but if your son can't recruit a few friends to help him with his eagle project, then he is not ready. He hasn't developed the necessary people skills. I don't know why he asked the scoutmasters to contact scouts to work on the project. The scoutmasters aren't supposed to recruit volunteers. Your son is. Most of all, don't blame it on other people. They don't owe it to your son. They don't have to help your son if they don't want to. If you are seeing a pattern (that people don't seem to be willing to help your son), find out why and fix it. Then your son will have learned a valuable lesson, and can be a true eagle scout.
  39. 3 points
    Wasn’t quite sure where to put this, but wanted to share something I made to celebrate our first in-person Troop meeting since the first of March. Plague Doctor neckerchief. 😆
  40. 3 points
    That's probably true. The scout group couldn't sell it. But it doesn't necessarily mean the bankruptcy court couldn't sell it. I very much doubt that BSA will be allowed to keep the summit. It was an extravagant expense. Allowing BSA to keep it would scandalous. I also don't think the bankruptcy court will see these facilities as a charitable function of BSA. These national camps are very expensive, and they serve the wealthiest members of the organization. They should be the first thing to go.
  41. 3 points
    You will NOT get a clear cut answer. You will get the answers people want to give to justify a desired answer. Scout accounts is always a very contentious debate in scouting. Heck, money always messes things up. BSA's publication is fairly consistent with IRS's letters. IRS has intentionally left this vague and rules are set by precedent on a case-by-case basis. But, IRS's intention is clear. Money is for the non-profit. Below substantial amounts, scouts can receive to their scout accounts funds as an incentive to help raise funds for the unit. Dollar "amounts" is mentioned because small amounts minimize IRS audit risks. IRS cases from 1990s reflect band boosters with 60,000+ in fund raising (if I remember right). The main issues are interpreting "private benefit" and "substantial". Substantial private benefit is wrong. Here's my recommendation. Don't let this burn friendships or people. Depending on the debate and who's involved, this can go every direction. Publish your rules. Be consistent. Be kind. Be courteous. Don't sweat it if your troop doesn't get the exact answer you want. It's really hard to get a clean answer. Watch for people getting upset. Money is always a contention point. For me, I think the IRS rules are clear. Scout accounts can receive benefits from fundraisers, but keep it 10% to 20% of sales. Over 30% is substantial and against IRS rules. Under 10% won't be a an incentive. It's just that the risk of being audited is extremely low with the amounts an average troop uses for fund raising. Even if your troop raises $30,000 in wreaths. BUT, if your troop is depositing $100,000 each year in your troop bank account from a single fundraiser, then I'd be more concerned. At some point, if you really want a good answer, hire a tax attorney and pay them their fee to get an answer. And, if you don't like the answer, get a different tax attorney. You probably will get a different answer.
  42. 3 points
    I've seen this comment repeated by many (especially on Facebook). You may be talking about the Antifa protestors, which could be true, but this does not apply to the Black lives protestors. Who is ignoring the other homicides? Many of the protestors are from inner city churches who also march after murders. Others run or work with non profits who are working with youth in the inner city (from Boys & Girls clubs to many others). I question people who think that few in the community are not attempting to help. I have personally donated time and money to organizations in the inner city near me and see that people are not ignoring the problem. I think anyone in this thread who are against the police reform and would rather help community organizations helping to reduce civilian-on-civilian homicides could donate their time/money to many worthy causes. You could also help a Troop or Cub Scout pack start up (or Trail Life unit). For example, here is a list of organizations out of Chicago. Most cities have many different organizations working on violence prevention. https://abc7chicago.com/stop-the-violence-resources-chicago-in/3894299/ I would ask … when you look at this list, how could you claim that they are "... ignoring the several orders of magnitude greater rates of civilian-on-civilian homicides...". Most if not all of those organizations' primary focus has nothing to do with police violence. When I see this type of comment, it is as ignorant as saying all NASCAR fans are racist since a noose was found in Bubba Wallace's garage.
  43. 3 points
    When I was in scouting, the very idea you just mentioned would neither have been suggested, imagined or tolerated. Military and law enforcement were structure, order and fun were honored tools for boys that resonated and still do. The people I knew and know were all very civic minded and almost all progressive. Many are professors. Your correlation and perhaps even veiled suggestion that killing, dividing and conquering were motivators is galling. most military is support, meaning cooks, nurses, doctors, truck drivers and so forth. Only a small part are direct combat. Many who come back from combat are scarred and traumatized for life and fight because they have to. Police used to be very different and took Knick’s and scuffs more than they do now. A lot of that modern issue comes from training. it seems you have a real bone to pick and have lumped anyone who endeavors you serve in either capacity as desires to kill and oppressor exterminate and are in a paramilitary training program. You also directly smear all those who wear uniform as killers and desirous to kill. As I recall, perils in both world wars signed up to stop tyrants seeking to control the rest of the world. We sent whites and blacks and Asians to kill Germans, Austrians and a few other groups in WW1 and German and Japanese and Italians in WW2. They were largely whites outside of the Japanese who were busy destroying the Chinese and Subjecting other Asian countries. It’s true in Korea and Vietnam we fought Asians but soldiers guerre forced to go. Police have a mixed history but I’m not sure what vision you have of a country without police dedicated to uphold the safety of their communities and institutions of government. I said nothing about training killers. You may loathe the institutions but when they are needed at home or requested abroad, they generally acquit themselves well. why you would say that Scouts and military and law enforcement are so bad as a mix is beyond comprehension. If I wanted a training group to do as you state, then I would send them to a reactionary group like the minute men, Michigan militia or others who behave that way in their training. Your answer really astonishes me and confirms what I have begun to suspect. The mind division in scouts is so divided and hostile that even personal experiences and perspectives cannot be expressed without intolerance, condemnation and categorical branding. You confirm the fact that scouting as we know it will be sorely pressed to survive as a cohesive group. you are a teacher, and I would have expected far more than I have read.
  44. 3 points
    I got my Eagle 33 years ago and OA Brotherhood. I’ve commented a lot lately on decentralization and focus in various ways. I was a little taken aback at this new diversity merit badge, let alone its requirement. For my part, I don’t like having to inject high octane gas politics into the enjoyment and development of youth. As I’ve written elsewhere, that was not my experience in Memphis, TN...not always viewed in a particularly progressive light. Diversity is certainly a fact of life. I was under the impression that Boy Scouts, being a global enterprise with just about every ethnic group and major culture under the sun included, was diversified. I thought that Jamborees were indicative of that. I thought the God and Country award allowed almost all main religious belief systems on Earth to have their system represented. I also was under the impression that most of the values and principles taught in Scouts were fairly universal across the globe. Citizenship merit badges are of course required as tgey should be. I could easily see the need for making sure that diversity, as the current culture climate wants it to be, was fully represented. I was under the impression that Citizenship fully means the citizenry of the US and each of the community, Nation and World badges not only introduces a youth to the history and fundamental institutions of government but politics. Youth need the introduction to all of the matters in those badges AND the guidance and input from parents and leaders on the local level. I have a great deal of difficulty, very great in fact, understanding how a separate merit badge and it’s requirement is anything than a forced peace cow to a hot potato issue. Do not mistake me, I do not belittle diversity or the importance of it. As a nation and world of mixed people, cultures and traditions we interact with others. But we have no less that at least 3 required merit badges and national and international programs that squarely deal with this. I’m aware merit badges come and go (I wish they’d bring martial arts back from 1911) but most of these changes do not appear to me to have been the subject of political and legal difficulties. At some point, the national organization is going to render itself obsolete for district and local groups. They will have so angered and disaffected entire swathes of the country that they will simply be ignored. Scouting cannot be repossessed or taken away from the people but the people can do without the national umbrella in their own way, even if it means reforming under a slightly different entity. The Indian culture is another matter. That is a slippery slope. First you do away with representations, then you strike district names, the you gut content so as not to offend. Then camps and parts of camps are re named and so it goes till all the possible content that might offend is expunged. Im not advocating offending anyone, far to the contrary, being ugly and rude to individuals is not for me. But the last time I checked, there was no guarantee in the US Constitution of the right not to be offended. Someone will always be offended. The native tribes near Mt. Rushmore hate it it because the land was stolen from them. So how will Scouts deal with that reality? By all that’s consistent, we should condemn it, and not refer to it at all or at least remark that there are offended people (If we are talking about Indian and Indian culture). Some may remark that the examples are absurd. They absolutely are. ALL of them. I have never known anyone to use Order of the Arrow regalia or anything other than a respectful manner. But, I suppose that this doesn’t matter. There is a risk in doing this sort of thing. A desire to be correct may lead to an entire culture being excluded and ignored because no one will risk dealing with them. The drivers of such a correcting force also risks being ignored. That takes me back to the first part of what I said about the national organization. The LDS broke away with hundreds of thousands to preserve its understanding of tradition. It appears that more legions of youth and adults may likewise part company and renew themselves under a different but similar fashion. That’s a shame really. Traditional scouting isn’t about creating a new unrecognizable creature out of a Frankensteinian lab. There are alternatives and many may choose to take them. It won’t make them lesser or ugly people. It doesn't make them ingrates, backwards or hateful. It means they have particular communal visions for how scouting was, is, and should be for the development of their youth in what is foremost a fun environment with particular features.
  45. 3 points
    June 13, 2020 A statement from Chief Scout Bear Grylls copied below In 1907, a new movement was born on Brownsea Island, in Poole Harbour Dorset – one that would bring skills, adventure and friendships to millions of young people around the world today. It was on that small island that Robert Baden-Powell founded the Scouts, taking a small group of young people from diverse backgrounds, with the goal to learn about the great outdoors, and show that we had more in common than divides us. Since that first camp, Scouting has grown year on year to become today a worldwide family, some 54 million strong, across almost every nation on earth. It is, without doubt, one of the greatest youth movements in history. The clear purpose back then (and still today) was to unite and inspire young people to learn how to celebrate their differences, to love and protect the outdoor world, to serve communities, and to be empowered with skills for life. And that is the legacy of the Scouts that lives and breathes today. It is in our nature, as Scouts, to endeavour to be open, respectful, and compassionate to all, and to be leaders of determination and intergity. That’s why those first Scouts, and the ones that followed, made a promise to be kind and helpful. It is the very heart of what we do. This last week, people have expressed much confusion and anger at the possible removal of a statue of Lord Baden-Powell in Poole. To me, and many Scouts around the world, Brownsea Island, (the place that the statue looks out on), is a reminder of that great Scouting vision, that has since helped so many young people gain vital, life-enhancing skills for their own futures. As Scouts, we most certainly do not celebrate Baden-Powell for his failings. We see them and we acknowledge them. And if he were here today we would disagree with him on many things, of that there is no doubt. And I suspect he would too. But we also recognise that Baden-Powell is part of our history, and history is nothing if we do not learn from it. So we also acknowledge Baden-Powell's vision, and I truly am so grateful to him for starting the Scouts - a living, breathing, modern movement that has immense power to unite and inspire people. This is why I whole-heartedly stand beside the righteous anger unleashed by the killing of George Floyd, and together we must all do what we can to right the awful injustices that BAME communities live with every day. And it's right that we take time to listen, to educate ourselves, and reflect on our movement’s history. We need the humility to recognise there are times when the views and actions from our Scouting’s past do not always match the values we live by today. We must learn, adapt, and improve. Scouting, to me, is founded on this humility, and on listening and respecting others, especially communities that are vulnerable or oppressed. Inclusion and acceptance are at the heart of our Scouting values, and we are never afraid to call out language and behaviour that do not match those values. I hope that as Scouts we are the anti-thesis of any hatred or polarisation that can come with social media. And when it comes to racism – indeed any form of discrimination or prejudice – our movement should be part of the solution, not the problem. We must be peace makers and unifiers. Baden-Powell may have taken the first step in creating Scouting, but the journey continues today without him. We know where we came from but we are not going back. We are always looking forward, to a brighter future for our young people. And as for the statue of Baden-Powell? Well, my hope is that Scouting statues in the future will be there to remind us all of one thing: the huge positive influence that Scouting continues to bring to so many young people worldwide. And long may that continue.
  46. 3 points
    If Ultralight or Kephart could return to scout-run and thrifty...maybe All Stars can backpack without adults or replace their Eagle project with a solo wilderness experience or ...
  47. 3 points
    It is really that simple? I have a hard time believing the bankruptcy court would accept that argument. Either all of the councils are independent corporations, or all of the councils are controlled by BSA. It is one or the other. To have each council's status depend on its liability exposure would be absurd. This is yet another example of BSA wanting to have it both ways. They want councils to be independent corporations, when it suits them, and then they want the opposite when it doesn't. BSA should just take one position and stick to it. It would be the honest thing to do.
  48. 3 points
    Just popping in from the UK, though id share this with you, issued via email from the UK Scout Association: Dear all, Many of you will have seen the media reports about the possible removal of the statue of Robert Baden-Powell, the Founder of the global Scout movement, from Poole Quay, in Dorset. The intention, we understand, is to avoid damage to the statue as the important debate continues around the role of historical figures, following Black Lives Matters protests across the world. This is a vital moment to have honest conversations, acknowledge the huge strength of feeling and renew our commitment to education and understanding with empathy and humility. As Scouts we stand together against racism, always. Inclusion and acceptance are at the heart of our values, and we are not afraid to call out racist language or behaviour. We strongly support the principles of Black Lives Matter and also stand with those affected by racism. We are a movement that inspires openness, kindness, understanding and the power of community and friendship. In the summer of 1907, a new movement was born on Brownsea Island, in Poole harbour Dorset – one that would bring skills, kindness and courage to millions around the world. It was here that Robert Baden-Powell founded the Scouts by taking a small group of young people from diverse backgrounds to live and work together. Their aim was to learn about the great outdoors, work in teams, and show we had more in common than divides us. Since that first camp, Scouting has grown, year on year, to become today a worldwide family, some 54 million strong, in almost every nation on earth. It is, without doubt, one of the greatest youth movements in history. But it’s right that we make time to listen, educate ourselves, and reflect on history - acknowledging where there are times when views and actions from the past do not match those values we live by today. It’s also right that we do not make any accusations or form any conclusions without the facts. These are the foundations of an open and honest debate about our society’s past and future. Baden-Powell was a complex figure, with changing and sometimes contradictory views that often reflected his time. We would never attempt to defend or agree with everything he did or said. However it’s obvious from the last 100 years, that Scouts has the power to unite people in a spirit of mutual friendship and respect and has become the greatest youth movement the world has ever seen. For generations, the Scout movement has brought millions of young people together from different cultures and backgrounds to promote friendship, cooperation and understanding. This happens at a community level across the UK, and at a global level at World Scout Jamborees and international camps. We are proud to build bridges between communities. As a movement, we’re also proud to support young people from every community in the UK, helping them develop values of integrity, respect, belief, care and cooperation. To actively support our members, we have created and shared guidance and resources to help parents and volunteers to have conversations about racism with young people. This is a first step in helping give our members the skills, confidence and courage to challenge racism and other behaviours that go against our values as Scouts. To be clear, there is no place for prejudice or discrimination of any kind in Scouts. Instead we actively celebrate the diversity of our members’ backgrounds, talents, thought and abilities that makes Scouting the vibrant community it is today. As Scouts, we must all continue to listen and reflect on how we live up to our values and strive to do better. Thank you for your own example, living and sharing our values. Tim Kidd UK Chief Commissioner Matt Hyde Chief Executive
  49. 3 points
    It is interesting that so many of the solutions to obstacles are really just using the Patrol Method!
  50. 3 points
    The virus does not distinguish between reasons for people gathering. Either it is safe or it is not safe. If it is killing grandma to gather for one reason, it's killing grandma for all reasons. If it's safe to gather for one reason, it's safe to gather for all reasons. The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to peaceably assemble. When there are extreme circumstances, that right can be temporarily restricted, but the government does not get to decide based on whether they like or dislike the reason.
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