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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/18/18 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    My breaking point happened 10+ years ago when My wife, who volunteered on our crew's committee, came home from a youth protection class where a fellow student tossed out the, "I thought we had Girl Scouts for girls." One scouter told me I was wrecking the program (promoting venturing) when in fact I was giving our boys more hiking/camping hours. Adults blew smoke over local adult-contrived boundaries that youth rightly found to bIe stupid Yet on each adventure, in a dozen different ways each time, I reaped youths' smiles. I broke. I did. I broke in favor of as many youth in the field under my guidance ... with or without BSA. Today, very close friends lost their son (and Son #2 lost a buddy) in a bicycle-meet-car accident. I've been on the verge of tears all day. I regret not having more hikes with this young man, not encouraging his dad to let him try our crew (in spite of his issues ... he had a few), not doing more to be his mentor. Compared to that loss, BSA's organizational blips mere trifles. So, my organization is bending and flexing to get me and other adults with integrity in touch with more youth? That's not a breaking point. That's a building point.
  2. 9 points
    I have been passionate about Scouting for my whole life, but my motivation is driven entirely from interaction with the boys. I know there are many Scouters out there who derive great personal satisfaction from their relationships with other Scouters. BSA seems almost like a fraternal order to them. This is going to sound terrible and I mean no offense to anyone on this forum, but I really hate hanging out with other Scouters. That is why I have always dodged things like Wood Badge. If a Scouting event is not centered on the boys, I'd rather spend my time at home remodeling my kitchen - lol. Once again - please forgive my offense with this honest confession.
  3. 8 points
    When it is not fun anymore. It is still fun when I am out with my scouts.
  4. 8 points
    Last time I camped out with the troop, sitting round the campfire, some of the older scouts asked for a scout story from the old days. So I told them one or two , then turned to go. They asked for another, then another. Surprised and somewhat pleased they were so interested I never once thought I was getting myself in trouble. But the next PLC it seemed all the scouts demanded to know why they couldn't do fun stuff like Mr Oldscout did. I dont think I'm gonna be allowed to tell stories without supervision anymore. And I had left out all the crazy ones. When I joined scouts in '70 it was billed as an adventure, one without safe spaces or coloring books. We were sometimes cold, sometimes wet, sometimes hungry. But it was the most fun we had ever had. Bottom line The more we make scouts like school the less boys will like it.
  5. 7 points
  6. 7 points
    So so dumb. Everything CSE said about the BSA understanding and embracing the differences of the genders and supporting single gender instruction is a bald faced lie. Actions speak louder than words. Spinning off a brand new magazine for girls, have some overlap in articles but also showcase things outside of scouts that interest girls should have been the obvious direction. I wonder how we can get a petition started to voice no confidence in Michael Surbaugh and petition National to elect Mike Rowe as Chief Scout Exec?
  7. 7 points
    Get on board with the new order Scouter or you'll end up in reeducation summer camp!
  8. 7 points
    There's a lot of hate for those in the profession, including me when y'all don't even know me. I mean I get it, there are A LOT of bad, even crooked Pros out there. Whatever, it's not gonna stop me from doing my job of trying to grow scouting and give kids opportunities. Again, I believe we work together and have the same goals in mind... I'm sorry if that's not the case in your council. Thank you all for what you do for scouting.
  9. 7 points
    Exactly. When paintball is perfectly fine for the church youth group but banned by the Boy Scouts, we have a problem.
  10. 6 points
    Fair enough, here goes... I pushed for inclusion in the BSA for many reasons. Sometimes because I thought that doing so would benefit the programs, sometimes because I felt that morally it was right, and sometimes because I felt that what the BSA was doing previously was just wrong (kicking kids out and denying advancement on the basis of sexual orientation, for example). The latter points can and have been debated here ad nauseum. On the "benefit the program" front, I think inclusion adds an additional layer of richness to the BSA. I have yet to hear about any gay scout or scouter who damaged the program in any way, and I've only heard stories of the exceptional LQBTQ men and women who have positively contributed to the BSA. From what I've seen so far, I say let's have more of them, and we all will benefit from their contributions to the organization. Girls just magnify that opportunity. Girls already contribute positively to many units. My Pack has had girl siblings participating in Pack activities for a long time now, and they always bring fun and enthusiasm to everything they do. Sometimes more than the boys. We just doubled our pool of potential members and future alumni. For every notable male Eagle Scout or former Boy Scout we brag about, imagine the roster of alumni we'll have in the next few decades with comparable accomoplishments. Or imagine if the BSA had done this decades ago and we could be bragging right now about pioneering women who earnd the Eagle rank. For Scouters it's a no-brainer for me, especially at the Pack level. I'm going to love handing out badges and awards to girls who I already know, who have already been participating and enjoying Cub Scouts "unofficially". Now they get to do this officially, and not just because their brother does it. And hopefully they will want to bring in their friends who don't have siblings in the Pack. We're suffering losses now in the short-term, but long term I see this as a massive growth opportunity. I'm not sure that anyone (myself included) can know the full potential of this just yet, it's too soon to say, but I remain optimistic that this will be big. For Scouts, I think their program only gets made better by all of this. I've never seen it as a negative that boys could be doing scout activities alongside girls, and really I've only ever seen it as a positive. We're supposed to be preparing these boys for adulthood, "Prepared for life," as the slogan goes. That life includes a lot of women, in all capacities, now more than ever. The boys that continue on to the military will soldier alongside women some times. They're going to work alongside women, in offices, firehouses, work sites, everywhere, and see women rise to the same levels as men. I think it only benefits our boys to learn to work alongside girls and truly prepare for the professional lives they have ahead of them. I believe that bringing the girl perspective into what we do can only enhance it. Every bit of it. One of the constant arguments against girls in the BSA has been that boys and girls learn differently. Why is that a bad thing? And why not use that to our advantage? If girls learn differently, let's use that to improve how we teach all scouts, boys and girls, to develop scout skills and learn how to live by the oath and law. It hasn't been a negative in school classrooms to have boys and girls working together. Let's enjoy that same benefit in Scouting. And lastly, I think that if we're honest about why we do this, why we put kids in the BSA at all, we have to acknowledge the basic idea that Scouting makes kids into better adults, and the more of that we have, the better. For all of us. If we believe so deeply in the BSA program and what it does for kids, why would we not want to use that to build a bigger and better society of people who will use their BSA experiences to be better people for the rest of their lives?
  11. 6 points
    That is very generous of you, but I don't think your $0.02 will cover it.
  12. 6 points
    17 years of working in government here quickly killed off any thoughts of conspiracy in the corridors of power. I suspect the same is true of many other large organisations
  13. 6 points
    Most Boy Scouts would be shocked to learn that their phone can actually be used for voice communications.
  14. 5 points
    I am now a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow
  15. 5 points
    ...If the Boy Scouts want to attract a new generation of members, they’ll need to stand for something more than inclusion. Because being inclusive doesn’t make you relevant. If I were calling the shots, I’d take a stand against the safe space movement and everything it embodies. And I’d do it in the most public way possible. But of course, that might also require a level of risk completely inconsistent with current orthodoxy. As we all know, in 1974, a chipped tooth or a black eye didn’t lead to lawsuit, and today, I’m pretty sure a boxing ring and a trip to the shooting range would make a lot of parents…uncomfortable. But that’s exactly the point. In a world that values safety above everything else, discomfort is never welcome. Neither is risk. And yet, discomfort and risk are precisely why my time in Scouting was so valuable, and why Troop 16 was the polar opposite of a safe space. Anyway Sharon, that’s a very long way of saying that girls are not the enemy. The enemy is bad ideology, and the inability to effectively confront it. Do I favor co-ed Scouting? Hell no. I can’t think of a single good reason to put girls and boys in the same troop, the same tent, the same boxing ring, or the same game of British Bulldog. But I can think of many good reasons to include them in a unified effort to confront the siren song of “safe spaces.” Someone has to challenge the insipid belief that safety is the most important part of living. Someone has to challenge the idea that feelings trump achievement. Someone has to challenge the idea that “crying closets” on campuses designed to console stressed out students who just can’t handle their finals exams, (or the outcome of a presidential election,) will produce a responsible, productive adult. ... I recommend reading the whole article complete with colorful language. http://mikerowe.com/2018/05/otw-death-of-the-boy-scouts/
  16. 5 points
    I would hardly call an article that accuses BSA of "sexualizing" its Scouts and throwing a two-week orgy a "well-written" point of view.
  17. 5 points
    Entered the program in November 1964; and in it for the long haul. If we cannot adapt and change we will indeed wither and die. As for OA, chapter meeting tonight. Chapter Advisor is female, as are 3 other senior adult members.
  18. 5 points
    While Surbaugh has risen through the ranks, that is part of his problem. He has not been a volunteer in a very long time, assuming he was a Scouter in college. And the bulk of his professional experience has been with Exploring and Learning for Life, and not traditional Scouting. From an interview somewhere, he deliberately had no children in order to focus on his career. That's another negative in my opinion because A) how can you relate to parents if you are not one and B) How can you relate to modern youth when you have no kids of your own?
  19. 5 points
    New uniforms, Venturers and Sea Scouts in the OA are both program changes. Changes to two deep is a program change. The military has different PT requirements for men and women so expect changes to Personal Fitness MB and Tenderfoot requirements. Family Life MB used to have a requirement to discuss with your counselor what it means to be a good father. That will change. Rumors of the OA dropping NA regalia will be a program change. New magazine name is a program change. But the program is more than rank and badge requirements and logistics. The program is made by all the intangibles of a single-gender environment and all that will end.
  20. 5 points
    I'm in England at the moment. I visited @Cambridgeskip's troop and really liked what I had a brief view of (thanks for the tour, Skip!). However, if the BSA plan is to emulate the UK plan then we're in trouble. This is nothing against UK scouts. Their program is great for them. Our program should be great for us. There are cultural differences that won't translate. We are hung up on eagle. I've read their forum and have never seen the types of arguments we have. They don't have summer camps like we do. I'd much rather see a return to GBB. Fun with a purpose. I ran a camporee based on that and the response was great. My DE said he loved it and he wants more and bigger. We need our own vision that our people can get behind. If it turns out to be similar to UK scouts, or Latvia, or Argentina, fine, but we need to figure it out for ourselves.
  21. 5 points
    I have to agree. Anyone who donates that much time, effort, and money to scouting ought to be committed.
  22. 5 points
    I was just called a "conditional Scouter" by a council professional for expressing my displeasure about girls in OA. 🤢 I guess being an adult volunteer for 15 years and helping 49 Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout, being OA Chapter Advisor, taking Venturers and Boy Scouts to Philmont 4 times, and having held key district committee positions several times doesn't count for much. Oh yeah, my dad's an Eagle Scout, I am too, and so are both my sons. But somehow I am not "committed."
  23. 5 points
    The economist in me smiles at this statement. This truth applies to almost anything we do. That said, and I'm not trying to defend some of the boneheaded things coming out of Texas, the great U.S of A. is a VERY big place. It's sometimes hard to remember that what's "natural" or "apparent" to us locally doesn't apply or have the same meaning to someone across town, across a District, or across a Council, much less across a country as big as ours. A Scouter's experience growing up in a local Pack, bridging over to an attached Troop and eventually finding a home as a Scouter all with an involved CO in a small community is/can be very different from the experience of a Scouter who's experience is in a larger community with multiple CO's, both religious & community based, who are very "hands off". For me locally, I know our DE works her butt off. But I'm still not convinced there's much "value added" to my Cub Scout Pack. After all the money that comes out of my personal pocket (much like classroom teachers) for this & that in our Pack, the popcorn sales, the registration fees and the many hours a month that I volunteer, FOS solicitations kind of feel insulting to me. Just my 2¢, YMMV.
  24. 5 points
    I never saw it that way. Old timers were part of my game. My SM mastered backpacking in his late 60s because I wanted to do a local 50miler. Adult association has no upper limit.
  25. 5 points
    How about swinging from a rope, from a wobbly tree limb, into a swimming hole, while skinny dipping, as other scouts are trying to pelt you mid-air with water balloons. We did that. (Moderators should feel free to delete this post. I'll understand.)