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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/20/19 in Posts

  1. 4 points
    This is kind of the problem. D-Day thinking. "General" driven, top down leadership. Confidentiality rather than transparency. Battle plans. The world has changed. This kind of thinking is outdated. BSA needs to recalibrate to be relevant. We are more "at war" with ourselves than anyone else. National, councils, and units are all on different pages, and nothing has demonstrated that more than the recent fee increase debacle. While I think there are definitely some girls out there that we haven't reached yet who will enjoy scouting, why in the world would we think tens of thousands of them will suddenly abandon their sports and marching bands and other activities to join scouts any more than the boys would? If we are relying on them to save our future, it's not realistic. It's very convenient to blame other youth programs for BSA's ills and to think we need to "do battle", but the problems we have have been self inflicted. BSA needs to retool to serve the needs of the local unit and help get kids outdoors and in the community.
  2. 3 points
    These things don’t magically happen. It takes dedication of many volunteers inside and outside the units at the District level to put on good programs. Yes, our unit has a lot of our own events throughout the year but it is greatly enhanced by broader outings. I could add some districts have talented unit commissions that help out struggling units. If districts and councils don’t matter, then why do certain council areas flourish and over perform in terms of youth participating in scouting and others languish? I don’t believe that is random. I believe when councils and district professionals find and support their experienced/solid council and district volunteers, it absolutely helps units perform well and deliver and improved program. Perhaps I should amend my initial summary... good Districts and Councils are vital to scouting.
  3. 2 points
    I apologize, this forum is not the place for a discussion of the LDS faith. I just found some of the recent posts patronizing and was offended by them. We should get back to discussing Scouting, not the LDS church.
  4. 1 point
    My points 1. A full stock Southern Style Poor Boy rifle based on the 1803 Harpers Ferry Rifle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpers_Ferry_Model_1803 2. Siler Lock (flint lock) 3. Barrel - 4140 CroMo steel, 32 inch, 54 caliber octagonal barrel, 1:48 right twist polygonal rifling... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitworth_rifle, bore line correct to 3 decimal places. 4. Walnut stock, Iron furniture 5. Open sights. Rear sight set at center of balance 6. Lollipop Tang 7. Set Triggers 8. Straight Cast 9. Drop at Comb - 1.5 inches 10. Drop at Heel - 2 inches 11. Length of Pull - 13.5 inches 12. Eye Relief from Rear Sight to Nose of Comb - 13.5 inches 13. Trigger guard sized for gloved hand
  5. 1 point
  6. 1 point
    Yes, private organization can discriminate if they can prove it conflicts with their organization mission/values. The Supreme Court has been fairly consistent. While I personally believe BSA made a mistake banning gay youth in the first place and an even bigger mistake fighting it so publicly in court, I don’t believe it was a primary cause of our massive membership drop. Nor do I believe that reversing the decision was the primary cause for further loss. If this was the case, the Coed Campfire program and the conservative Trail Life program would each have hundreds of thousands of youth. Both are barely the size of an average council. I’ve never had a youth leave the program that brought up the social issues. Only once, with a close friends who don’t join, was the gay ban brought up. They said they wouldn’t sign up their scout because of it... I explained that changed... they still didn’t sign up. BSA, outside of Eagle Scout, is not in the formula for getting little Jonny into the best colleges. STEM or STEAM education has replaced the Scout Law as the National crisis. Patrol method is messy, parents are not patient to let it work. Youth have plenty of other opportunities for entertainment and are typically already over scheduled. Done right, scouting is a fun experience that does teach critical values and skills our nation needs. Unfortunately, too few know this and I see further declines in membership ahead.
  7. 1 point
    Nor did I appreciate the suggestion in your earlier post. You said: So perhaps I should have said the BSA got caught up in the current social and political ideology of the worth of the individual? Pardon if I interpreted you incorrectly, precisely which current social and political ideology did the BSA get caught up in? that sexual preference is a not a reason for excluding kids or adults from the BSA? that gender identity is not a reason for excluding kids from the BSA? that girls should be able to enjoy the Scouting programs of the BSA the same as boys do? I could easily argue that your original statement is itself is a frankly, utterly false calumny that reflects a shocking and extremely unkind attitude towards those who believe that Scouting should be a place that welcomes all kinds of kids. But, I will refrain from doing so.
  8. 1 point
    This is hardly a scientific poll or anything, but the only LDS person I've talked to who had bad things to say about the BSA was spouting off about how much she disagreed with my daughter being in Cub Scouts and "THIS is why the Church has decided to discontinue its relationship with Boy Scouts." She wasn't particularly in favor of allowing gay or trans members either, but that wasn't her big issue. It was just simply not OK to allow girls to do something she felt was reserved for boys. It didn't matter to her that the Church had every possibility of continuing to only offer the program to boys. Man, I got tired of hearing her yammer about how the whole program was ruined because of allowing girls in. Seems like she should have had a clue by the fact that the conversation started with me breathing the words "daughter" and "cub scouts" in the same sentence that she wasn't going to find a sympathetic ear in me. LOL! Other LDS people I've talked to have generally been in continued favor of girls in Scouting and continue to support BSA Scouting in general as a concept and with a "Let me know if there's anything I can do to support your new unit for girls" kind of an attitude. Opinions on whether the LDS Church should or should not have discontinued its relationship with BSA vary, but it's only been that one person who had an axe to grind with BSA.
  9. 1 point
    At our District level, camporees have added a lot of value. Our Klondike, our on by district, is a Troop favorite. Council level summer camps, merit badge clinics (some) and a variety of partnerships with local universities and professional sports teams have helped provide solid experiences. In addition, my council has definitely helped on recruiting tasks. National... improving IT systems (Scoutbook linkages & online applications) along with high adventure plus program material. Now, I do question if our fees and fundraising are going to these areas in the most efficient way possible and I question all the layers of leadership.
  10. 1 point
    Wikipedia battle continues. The info has once again been removed.
  11. 1 point
    The LDS Church has revised it's stand on same sex couples being apostates. They've also said that they understand that being gay isn't a choice, and that if a member is gay, that as long as they are not sexually active (with someone of the same sex, of course), that they can be members of the church. So... I'm a bit puzzled as to why BSA's acceptance of gay leaders and youth was seen as 'not standing on principle', and why it was an issue for the Church. If it wasn't the acceptance of gays, then was it the acceptance of girls? We're to believe the Church doesn't see women as inferior. The Church also hosts several events where all youth are invited. So perhaps it wasn't the inclusion of girls after all. Or was it? The main issue, it seems to me, is that the Church was viewing the BSA as part of a priesthood program. Since women don't hold the priesthood, I can see why the addition of girls would cause a problem, but I also see it as problematic that the Church leaders are saying the BSA abandoned them. The BSA program was never set up to be the activities arm of the priesthood. Just my $.02 as a (non-practicing) Mormon.
  12. 1 point
    I have always viewed the problem as some chartering organizations used their pull to have BSA conform to these COs beliefs and doctrine which then forced other COs who did not have those same beliefs to exclude members they would otherwise allow. To use an analogy, many religious based COs believe the eating of pork is a sin, and thus violates their moral code. I argue it would not be appropriate for those COs to dictate that BSA prohibit bacon and/or exclude from membership those who eat it. It is entirely appropriate for the CO to not have bacon at their functions. Sure this seems like a ridiculous argument to make, but the "sexual ethics" argument would be the same, just swapping out "one sin for another". Again, it boils down to whether one CO should dictate to another CO (through their power with BSA) what "values" the other COs must use for membership. I argue no.
  13. 1 point
    Gotta wonder, will the (new) OA open casinos at Philmont and Summit?
  14. 1 point
    This whole thread was started because some high ranking person in the LDS church made the statement that: I wish the LDS church all the best in their new youth program. Now that they've left, I'd encourage church leaders to stop talking about the BSA and move on. Yep - guess the BSA just got caught up in that new fangled idea of the worth of the individual. I'm quite comfortable that the BSA left the LDS church because the restrictions it placed on the BSA were causing too many other issues. I'm glad the BSA for once stopped pandering and chasing membership.
  15. 1 point
    What many miss in this discussion is that it's not a question of sexual ethics, it's a question of equality. A growing number of people today have reached the conclusion that neither sexual preference and gender identity are questions of choice - they are part of who we are. So, more and more people were reaching the conclusion that the BSA was discriminating in it's membership based on factors not in the control of the individual. Further, sexual preference and gender identity are separate topics. I've seen youth we historically would label a boy go through Scouting who clearly identify as a girl. This was well before they were even thinking of sexual preference. Permissive or restrictive sexual ethics have nothing to do with this topic. You can have a youth who identifies as a girl or is attracted to the sane biological sex who is not sexually permissive at all. I look at my kids schools - most of the high schools have Gay-Straight Alliance groups. My kids openly discuss topics of sexual preference and gender identify - yet complain when a movie gets too raunchy. That one boy likes another boy is no more a big deal than that a boy likes a girl. So, as the BSA was continuing to exclude people for reasons of gender identity & sexual preference, more and more people were reaching the conclusion that the BSA was out of touch with contemporary American values. Basically the BSA was in the middle of the evolution of our understanding of equality and had picked the wrong side.
  16. 1 point
    Why does this disease that everything has to be bigger, better, blingy-er always infect organizations? Instead of Bechtel, BSA could have done so much more good if it had developed a program to help retain Council level camps and properties on a regional basis. Property management expertise, help in setting up regional joint purchasing agreements to maximize cost efficiencies, marketing help, seed money to help transition some holdings into public ownership rather than being lost to sale and development. We are not scouts if we can't get kids outside. We are losing too many council camp properties.
  17. 1 point
    For the life of me, where does a families permissive or non-permissive sexual ethic come into BSA? I do not equate being an inclusive organization as being a reflection of any sexual ethic.
  18. 1 point
    I'll have to disagree....When it comes to the social agenda, the Mormon Church has never respected separation of church and state. This course of action that the Mormon hierarchy decided to pursue was purely punitive, their original intent was to force BSA to back down from social changes that they strongly disagreed with. Recall Prop 8, California's Equal Rights amendment where the Mormon church illegally used the pulpit and deceptively named grassroots groups to enlist supporters against the amendment. It should be obvious that the Mormon church placed the BSA in a no win situation... to either conform to Mormon values to keep the dollars flowing into BSA coffers; or, to adjust the program to current societal changes and loose LDS support. As I see it, BSA took the right course by standing on principle and refusing to be exhorted by the LDS
  19. 1 point
    Ha! Now, if you said Wilderness Survival I’m all in!
  20. 1 point
    Yep. We are camping next weekend, and I am sure I will hear a few comments about how cold they are, as it is supposed to drop down to 68 Friday night!
  21. 1 point
    I know we argue about Sports versus Scouting. I ran across this on another Scout Facebook page. It is long, but worthy of your reading. I attribute it to the name at the top. 'Nuf said... Brock Moore October 23 at 9:26 AM I promised myself years ago, every time I saw this I would re-post. Happens about twice a year. Rings true EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.... Here goes!!! Most people won't take the time to read this all the way to the end. I hope that you will. 17 INCHES" - you will not regret reading this An excellent article to read from beginning to end. Twenty years ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA's convention. While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.” Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter; I was just happy to be there. In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate. Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy? After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally … “You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.” Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer. “That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause. “Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach. “That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?” “Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident. “You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?” “Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison. “Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”............“Seventeen inches!” “RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues? “Seventeen inches!” “SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello !” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. If you can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.'” Pause. “Coaches… what do we do when your best player shows up late to practice? or when our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate? " The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We just widen the plate!” Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?” Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.” “And the same is true with our government. Our so-called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate! We see our country falling into a dark abyss while we just watch.” I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path. “If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: "If we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …” With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “…We have dark days ahead!.” Note: Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches." And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and now go out there and fix it! "Don't widen the plate."
  22. 1 point
    While I don't know the details here, my first reaction is that the council needs to shut this unit down. How was it that there were opportunities at a Scouting event for this leader to have alone time with a youth? This is exactly what YPT is supposed to prevent.
  23. 1 point
    Our shirts have an upside down camp map on the front. That way, they can lift up the bottom of the front of their shirt and have a camp map ready at all times.
  24. 1 point
    I found a very nice "Scoutmaster Minute" on the Kansas City Star website. It's a little long for my tastes, but it incorporates a story of an Olympic athlete inside a story of a young scout. I like it! https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/community/joco-913/joco-diversions/article235999268.html My older son’s Scout leader was telling some of the other parents that he couldn’t make it to the upcoming meeting. Another one of those obligations had chased him down for that night, so he was looking for a fill-in to give the “Scoutmaster’s minute,” a story at the end of the meeting with a moral for the boys and girls to leave with. I love a good short story, and no sooner had I started thinking about where I might look for some good prospects than I found myself down on the schedule to tell one the next night. The past few weeks have been especially busy for me, to the point where I’ve been thinking of dropping some of my less essential obligations — projects outside work that other people will probably step up for, or at least things that won’t stop the world from spinning if they’re left undone. So I was relieved to find something interesting to tell the kids about after just a few minutes of poking around the internet. It was John-Stephen Akhwari’s marathon run at the 1968 Olympics. You might already know his story, but bear with me while I get everyone else caught up. Akhwari didn’t clock a great time. In fact, he crossed the finish line more than an hour after the medalists, finishing last, in 57th place. Even the 56th-place runner had 19 minutes on him. That wasn’t entirely his fault. See, Akhwari and a few other runners had collided on the track and down went Tanzania’s only competitor in the race. The fall dislocated his right knee. They say observers expected him to limp off the track and into obscurity once he was bandaged up. But Akhwari stood up on that knee and pushed through the pain until he’d put every inch of those 26.2 miles behind him. When someone asked him later why he didn’t give up — as 18 other runners did that day — he gave a simple answer: His compatriots hadn’t sent him 9,500 miles to Mexico City to start the marathon. They sent him 9,500 miles to finish it. That, I told my son’s troop, is how to handle the obligations you agree to take on for people: Once you commit to putting something on your list, do everything you can to check it off. Then one of the young faces in the group snagged my attention. It belonged to a kid who’d hiked a couple of miles into town from camp with the rest of the troop last summer. It was no marathon, but anyone could see that the loop back to camp seemed like one to this boy as he forced one aching leg in front of the other in utter exhaustion. Three adults slowed the pace to his while the rest of the troop disappeared down the trail. The boy knew that if he really wanted to quit, all he had to do was refuse to move and we’d call a car to take him back to camp. But he trudged through the muggy afternoon and into dusk until he finally reached his cot on his own steam. Miserable as he looked that evening, he told us later how proud he was that he hadn’t given up. And when his mom asked what he did at the camp she’d saved to send him to, he surely had a story for her. That boy didn’t need to hear the lesson of John-Stephen Akhwari. He already had it by heart. But I needed a reminder of that boy’s story. It’s one thing for a trained marathoner to persevere as the world watches. It’s another thing entirely for a boy who doesn’t like hiking to burn through his meager reserves so he doesn’t let his mom down. Facing him the other night, it seemed like I can carry those extra obligations I signed up for at least a little further down the trail.
  25. 0 points
    As I discussed above, I agree that there has to be a certain limited professional infrastructure to provide particular resources that are beyond the capabilities of individual units or area or regional collections of units and unit volunteers. But when you are talking about organizing multi-unit programs, or promoting Scouting in communities, or assisting units and leaders via training and commissioner service, volunteers are doing all of that already. They don't need a council or district structure, or council or district professionals, to make it happen. I've dealt with some fine district executives and other professionals, but they weren't doing program or commissioner work. They were overseeing fundraising to pay for council operations, administering membership paperwork flow between the council on one hand and units and volunteers on the other, and encouraging/nagging district volunteers to do things to ensure that the district hit all of its council-established performance targets. We continue to need volunteers working individually and in teams and committees to provide programming for units beyond what individual units can do on their own; and to provide training, help, and advice to develop unit leaders and improve unit quality; and to promote the program in the community so that units will have fertile ground for recruiting. But we don't need a professional Scouting bureaucracy to do those things, and we don't need layers of organization that have their own goals (such as fundraising) that are disconnected from supporting and developing unit Scouting.