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  1. 11 points
    The friendship knot, especially tied loose like those will come undone very easily, you only need to pull one tail out and the whole thing falls apart. I blame the World Jamboree of course, all those foreign degenerates with their casual unit t-shirts, friendship knots, and gaudy patches, leading your fine upstanding smart Boy Scouts astray, and now they've taken the trend back to their units, spreading the abborance like a virus.
  2. 8 points
    y'all sound like a bunch of grumpy people. If the youth want to wear the friendship knot, let them.
  3. 8 points
    I mean "erosion" in this sense: Originally, troops were made up of patrols. Now troops are divided into patrols. Patrols used to be more or less permanent, with traditions of their own, composed of Scouts of all ages, with the older Scouts being responsible for younger Scouts and competitions among patrols. Now, patrols frequently change membership, change names, and disappear out of existence (the New Scout Patrol is even designed to be temporary). Every member of a patrol used to have a job with a title and real responsibilities, and the younger Scouts earned their way to positions of greater and greater responsibility. Now, there often isn't much for patrol members to do because the work is being done at the troop level by Scouts who need recognized Positions of Responsibility for advancement. Patrol members used to tent together, away from other patrols. Now, Scouts are often just jumbled together in a troop campsite. I could go on, but the larger point is that the Patrol was where a Scout learned teamwork -- or, more properly, citizenship -- by committing to work, play, and live in a little community in which success depended on the efforts of every member despite age differences, background differences, skill and experience differences, and personality differences. All too often these days, patrols are just temporary groupings for the purpose of troop administration.
  4. 6 points
    As a Backpacking MBC I do not count Philmont as completing the requirement. They didn't create the itinerary, they didn't create an emergency plan, they didn't create the menu and so forth. The most they could possible do on a Philmont Trek for this requirement is create a daily schedule and a budget for the trip but will miss some obvious valuable lessons if they used a trip they create on their own. I.E. the true cost of feeding a crew for 5 days and how to keep the cost low.
  5. 6 points
    Interesting article that I wager few if any major media sources would dare publish. Leavitt: Boy Scouting is not what we may think it is By Irv Leavitt for Chronicle Media — February 24, 2020 On a stinking hot summer day, my father struggled to install a window air conditioner in the front room. It was not a good fit. “Run down to the hardware store and get some Mortite,” he said, fishing a dollar out of his pocket. Mortite is “rope caulk,” thick, sticky stuff that comes already extruded, so you don’t need a caulking gun. My dad had about six tools in those days, and a caulking gun was not among them. “You sure this is enough?” I asked, having been caught short at a store about three years before, when I was 8. “Way more than enough,” he assured me. It was a beastly run in the heat, but I looked forward to getting to East Maine Hardware. It was my favorite place, stocked with exotic tools like electric drills. At home, we had a hand drill with a wooden handle and a little crank on the side. This time, I barely glanced at all the fantastic devices, because I was on a mission, with the whole family waiting to turn on the air conditioner and sit in front of it like it was a television set. I put the Mortite on the counter. “A dollar-one,” the man said. “Holy cow, I just have a buck. Can I bring the penny later?” I asked. “Yep, and you can take the Mortite later, too,” he said, picking it up off the counter, and leaving my forlorn, sweaty dollar behind. The other guy behind the counter chuckled, and the first guy laughed harder. “My father said a dollar was plenty,” I said, thinking that he was right. It didn’t look like the caulk was worth a dollar, not in those days, when you could get a hamburger for 15 cents. “Your father should have given you enough money,” the second guy said, laughing again. “I think he did give me enough money,” I said under my breath. The jokes and snide comments continued. There were now several men around the front of the store, some laughing, some staying out of it. Even a kid could understand what was going on. They saw the patched clothes, the loose flap on my shoe, the amateur haircut. They were making fun of me because I was poor. We had moved from Chicago to Niles, which was no ritzy town, but the rent was higher, and kept going up. Everything seemed to cost more than it was worth. I suddenly felt very small. I had the sensation that I wasn’t tall enough to see over the counter. I realized that I would have to leave and come back with the penny, and give it to these hyenas on my knees. A voice came from behind me. “Give him the flipping Mortite,” I heard. The man didn’t really say “flipping.” Behind the counter, my main antagonist said, “Yes, sir.” A large man in a tan work uniform and two heavy tool belts put some pipes on the counter. “You ought to be ashamed of yourselves,” he said. The plumber turned around to shake my hand. “I’m Mr. Marion,” he said, aware I might not recognize him out of context. “I’m your scoutmaster.” Irving Marion clapped his big right hand on my shoulder. “Say hello to your dad for me,” he said. People say that sexual abuse of over 12,000 Boy Scouts was already underway when I was a Scout. I don’t doubt it, but I never saw that. Scouting programs in Illinois vow to continue despite bankruptcy I saw Mr. Marion and other men who worked hard all day but still found a little time to help boys grow up to be men instead of jackals. I also saw the beauty of life under the dome of the sky. I saw animals playing in the shadows of oak forests. I watched hawks circle in the air before plummeting toward a ground squirrel like a Curtiss Helldiver. I scrubbed my clothes on a washboard. I learned to cook over an open fire, on a coal stove, and in a kettle buried in the soil. If you can do that, cooking on a Kenmore is a cinch. But no one who’s talking about the Boy Scouts of America right now is talking about camping. They’re talking about the BSA bankruptcy, and how it will affect victims’ claims against the organization. Part of the reason the BSA has taken this course is the enormous debt likely owed to the boys harmed while under the deficient protection of the organization. There’s also the likely intention of limiting the number of victims who will join those who’ve already filed, though it may not work out that way. Scouting’s financial underpinnings were weakened before the flood of lawsuits, because there isn’t as much interest as there used to be, even now that girls and gay boys are allowed under its big tent. Membership fell long ago as boys turned to indoor pursuits. In an attempt to get them back and bring in more funding, the BSA reportedly borrowed significantly to build The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, a huge West Virginia venue that is as much carnival as camporee. It used to be simpler. It cost us relatively little to be Scouts. If that weren’t the case, we couldn’t have done it. When we’d arrive at a campground, there was nothing there but grass and weeds and a latrine, surrounded by trees. We’d walk into the woods to gather logs for the fires and branches for kindling and tent stakes. Hand axes were borrowed to rough out the stakes. Everybody had a knife to trim the notches for the ropes. The tents had no floors, so the ground cloth went down first, before the wooden tent poles were lifted and the ropes pulled taut. Don’t scratch the canvas. You don’t want leaks. I shunned Scouting’s merit badges, ranks and most of its other militaristic trappings. But living outdoors for a few days at a time was a revelation, an education and a balm. Boy Scout camping isn’t like civilian camping. The BSA owns campgrounds separated from cities, and off-limits to strangers’ RVs and other imitation outdoorsy-nesses. We hiked and swam out of sight of the things of man. There is no question that the Boy Scouts made me a better human being. I’m not necessarily referring to the Boy Scout Law, which famously instructed us to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent — though that helped. I’m indebted to the Boy Scouts for giving me the know-how and confidence to do things I might have never done without them. I could find my way through the woods with a map and a compass. I cut wood with a long axe and a two-man saw. I tracked animals, and started a fire, at least once, by rubbing two sticks together. Boy Scouts have long been the acknowledged experts of first aid, aside from actual doctors and nurses. When the methodology of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation changed about 60 years ago, it wasn’t really accepted until it went into the Boy Scout Handbook. We kidded that the Scouts were so committed to first-aid training because that meant the handbook had to be regularly updated with the latest stuff, and the book isn’t cheap. The Scouts drive training by staging regional and statewide competitions, to see how many fake injuries and illnesses we could cure without our fake patients dying. One of these was the first thing I ever won. I still remember how that felt. When there’s a disaster, like a car plowing into a storefront, most people who have managed to avoid injury instinctively run away. But not everyone. Medical personnel, cops and firefighters have been trained to respond to such matters, and they run in the opposite direction. They run toward the blood and the crying and the screams. And often, right alongside them, is a guy who keeps a threadbare green suit in a dresser drawer even though it’s been a long time since it fit.
  6. 6 points
    This is a perfect example of where the BSA began its decline. Using the patrol method, it would be the scout's patrol leader teaching the new scout how to make the fire. Not an adult. The new scout learned a valuable skill, the patrol leader learned how to teach and lead, and they both developed character without a bunch of lectures. Mr Mazzuca, if memory serves, started during the '70s Improved Scouting Program that pushed outdoor skills to the back burner. An exec can make it to the top in the BSA and not have a clue about our organization's rich history, culture, and best practices.
  7. 6 points
    no. those are not hallmarks of "toxic masculinity". Hallmarks of toxic masculinity are: denying young men the opportunity to express emotion except for anger. Promoting violence as the only acceptable means for conflict resolution. Treating women as objects. And defending all of these as the way to define "manliness".
  8. 6 points
    Once, our troop was back-packing in mid-October in the mountains of western Pennsylvania on a narrow, slanting trial above a steep slope that went down several hundred rocky feet to a cold reservoir. Freezing rain began - instant ice. The issue was whether to go back to the cars at the trail-head, four miles back, or to push on the the campsite twice as far down the trail, located in a steep bowl. The two adults, not commissioned Scouters - parents, insisted that the troop go on. The SPL decided to return to the cars, and all the Scouts accompanied him as the adults loudly questioned his judgment and courage ("wimp"). That SPL was remarkable. I suspect that a more typical SPL , even at sixteen, would have been intimidated onto going on. Neither adult was his parent. We made sure in the future that they were never alone with the Scouts absent commissioned Scouters, although they had attended a unit of training that stressed that Scouts were not a commando unit and safety came first. He was probably aided by the strong Troop culture that the SPL was the leader of the Troop at Troop activities. The Troop took almost two full days to get home from the parking lot, instead of six hours, due to the many trees, utility poles, and utility wires down across the roads. The U.S. Forest Rangers and state and local authorities had to rescue several thousand hikers, backpackers, and campers from that area due to the ice. There were broken bones due to falls. Not our SPL's troop.
  9. 5 points
    It is time to trash the entire Recharter system. Maybe this is already discussed under the hopes for changes as a result of bankruptcy, but it always seems like this is something everyone at the unit, district, and most everyone at the Council level is well aware, and yet it never seems to change, or even be discussed by the people responsible for this wildly outdated and unappealing system. It is no exaggeration to say that we have lost more scouts, volunteers, and units to the cumbersome approach to registration and recharter than to anything else in my tenure. Not bankruptcy, not lawsuits, not admitting girls, not openly accepting homosexual leaders, not losing the LDS - but this. Something so stupidly simple I wonder if we shouldn't just let someone design a better system as an Eagle Scout project. Well, except perhaps cost - but it is related. Annual renewal of membership registration and confirmation of charter for a chartering org should take no more than fifteen minutes and able to be completed entirely online. Payment, transfers, new members, position changes, all of it. It isn't as if we don't have the technology - literally every other membership organization from libraries to churches to business prefered shopper plans make it that easy. The current process is entirely too time-consuming. We have piecemeal approach to Scout and Scouter data, bits and pieces all over the place in Scoutbook, Scoutnet, My.SCouting, plus having to generate separate lists and even printing forms and uploading scans and waiting weeks to find out if information is not processed - all this should be online, in a single system. Payments cannot simply be made online and directly. The cost of participation is already high, and we serve areas where that is prohibitive. Just showing up to events is costly in geographically large areas. Asking volunteers to pay on top of all the costs of their kids, uniforms, program fees, etc. Especially internationally, there is no benefit seen of national fees and often little for council fees. The justification seems to be paying for people to manage an unwieldy process that exists only for its own sake - since it certainly does not help anyone. Timing, granted maybe a council decision, but Packs especially find it hard to follow the calendar year when everyone moves in the summers between school years. And we have high turnover. This also means district/council working with lists that are out of date and useless 75% of the time in terms of who is actually still here, trained, paid, whatever - because nothing updates until March, but then people move in June, so 9 months of the year they are still on the books but not actually here. It could be updated in real time. Then there are the issues of applications being submitted and never processed, sometimes multiple times. (The record in my district is six attempts without success). Having multiple ID numbers, one in each council you serve, and then those disappearing after a certain period. Your training and advancements not tracking in transfers. Position changes should be the click of a button for registered scouters, either the volunteer themselves going online, updating their profile, and that's it, and/or district/council leadership - including appropriate volunteer roles - able to go in and do the same. It should not require a new registration form every time someone adds a new position. It should not wait the better part of a year before those roles are reflected in the system. Our district level staff spend so much time dealing with all this, that they are not spending it training, coaching, supporting - it's all about chasing down the paperwork. Which is too often still paper, or digitalized paper, but using computers to do things the same way as a century ago is missing the point entirely. Have I missed some of the obvious problems with the current system? Has this ever been addressed by the people in a position to change it? Help me out here.
  10. 5 points
    I know what I saw in January at the Summit. Why build such a massive learning center with a dining facility, huge classrooms, lodging, and an auditorium in the basement. I got the usual dumb answer when I asked about the reason for this building and was told by a guy with gold shoulder loops that "we are going to rent it for corporate use". What corporation is going to pay the cost of renting that place for a huge number of employees and then figure out how to get their employees there. There are no local airports so the only way to get there is by car, bus, or fly into the "Presidental Heliport " that was built "in case the President ever wanted to come". I also asked the same guy about how this was being paid for and got another evasive answer, "cash only". Come on guys, double the membership fees, pay huge salaries to senior executives, continue to spend millions at the Summit.......membership continues to drop, unpopular decisions being made.....maybe it's time to start getting some straight answers...after all I always thought that I was a shareholder in this club.
  11. 5 points
    One of my biggest beliefs is that BSA has the opportunity to be in the real forefront of the environmental surge. We should be doing all we can to encourage varieties of clean energy, solar and wind particularly, and water in a few areas. We should be demonstrating in all the camps conservation methods to best use the various habitats and geographical elements. We should be putting the Stem stuff in, and modifying it with new technology, even as we encourage hands on nature study with the new resources, and where able, throwbacks to older methods such as pressing and field observations. But a nature hike today should include possibly taking photos with phones and then developing ids through online resources and actual physical guides. Camps should have small solar lights for safety and easy location of kybos at night. ATT, since we had that guy that led them as National President, might use camps to put in cell towers on tall buildings such as climbing walls, or even trees. We should become the new green wave with composting and maybe even solar toilets in the camps. Raise worms; raise Christmas trees where possible; find beekeepers to put hives on the sites; build bird and bat houses and distribute them around the camps. Push any and all conservation techniques and teach the youth about them while making the camps a little more self-sustaining. I suspect that a few camps could even become local vegetable growers. Bring the best challenges from the first decades, ones that make sense still, and find ways to incorporate them with new technologies and cooperative efforts with colleges and environmental groups. Focus on that thing called service and being prepared, but make it fit the 21st century when we can, but still teach the best from the past.
  12. 5 points
    Fred, I concur with your thoughts. As a former JROTC instructor, I can attest that oftentimes scouting is neither scouting nor JROTC. Frankly, we have too many adults at all levels in scouting that have zero interest in adventure. They enjoy the trappings of scouting--meetings, uniforms, badges, paperwork, classroom training. But their lack of interest in adventure sets the tone for the unit, the district, the council. The public picks up on this as well. The BSA has encouraged this dynamic for decades. An aside, in many schools JROTC isn't JROTC either. Leadership is often taught/spoon fed in lectures, which are as dull and uninspiring as much of our "leadership" training is in the BSA. Be it scouts or cadets, you are correct: leaders model the right behavior and the scouts/cadets then put into practice what they've seen. I think this drawing captures the BSA today. (And many JROTC units, for that matter.) Edit: Drawing by UK Scouter John Sweet. (Thanks @MattR!)
  13. 5 points
    I'm tired. Forgive me if I babble. "First Class First Year" ... It's about program planning. The stats may be self-fulfilling stats. Motivated scouts rank up quick and stay in. Scouts less interested won't earn and won't stay in scouts. It's absolutely not our job to pull kids forward. It's their job to rank job. We help. We inspire. We encourage positive experiences. We are there for our scouts. But it's their journey. It's about program planning. A troop that supports "First Class First Year" has a planned program that has "OPPORTUNITIES" for scouts to earn first class in the first year. 10+ camp outs a year. A summer camp. Skills development. Hikes. Activities. ... INCLUDING leaders (youth or adult) available to sign off requirements on the scout's schedule, not the leaders schedule. ... If the troop provides opportunities and a scout is active, he should be able to earn first class in a year ... IF HE WANTS TO AND HE PURSUES IT. ... It's really just not that hard if the scout is active. IMHO, the biggest problem earning first class first year is the number of words in the rank requirements keeps growing. It's like a legal document now. I swear the number of words has more than doubled since 2005 for each rank. ... Example ... Second class rank requirements ... 2001 --> 490 words ... 2020 --> 1,193 words ... 243% previous size. ... More words .. same learning. "Culture shock" ... I call it broken promises. I just don't see culture shock. From what I see, scouts hear about adventure, planning their own program, being leaders, etc ... and their first six months are filled with lectures and boredom. It's boring. It's far from an adventure. Independence and adventure is the last thing they get to experience in their first six months. ... If you want to keep a scout, get him outside with matches and a fire pit or a knife and a piece of wood. .... If you want to lose him, make him watch power point or sit in a patrol line for 30+ minutes every Monday night. Patrol method ... Patrols are an identity. A group of friends that want to do things together. Many approaches can work. Key is letting scouts choose who they want to associate with as much as possible. IMHO, that means letting scouts choose their patrols. No assigning. No locking them into their patrols. Things can change, but it's their choice. Successful patrols stick together. For activities, camping, cooking, ... doing things. Sticking together as an identity for years. Patrol method is subverted by ad-hoc patrols, assigning membership, re-balancing, re-mixing, etc. ... If a scout wants to switch patrol and the other patrol wants him, it should be okay. KEY POINT --> Patrols are an identity. Patrol gear. Patrol pride. Patrol flag. Patrol cheer. Everything we do should help strength patrol identity. We subvert patrols with ad-hoc patrols, re-mixing patrols, assigning patrols, not letting scouts be with their friends, not letting scouts determine their own fate ... scouts controlling their future is a key promise we tell them that is different than cub scouts. ... For example, re-mixing patrols means destroying something we tell them they should value. Ad-hoc means we just don't take their identity seriously so why should they. One of my fondest memory was my oldest son in his last six months of scouts. His patrol had mostly aged out or withered away. It was just him and two buddies that would keep showing up and keep camping. Sometimes three on a camp-out. Sometimes two. When he turned 18, the other two were pretty much done too. When the last aged out, their patrol name was done.
  14. 5 points
    Hmmm maybe @JoeBob has a point about inflated salaries. https://www.presstelegram.com/2020/02/28/boy-scouts-of-america-weighed-down-by-red-ink-high-pay-for-execs-before-bankruptcy/
  15. 4 points
  16. 4 points
  17. 4 points
    Proof of the BSA's indifference to unit level scouting--the recharter process is Exhibit A.
  18. 4 points
    Yes -- Get rid of it! Far too many unit, district, and council resources are wasted on this obsolete process. If council wants to renew the charter agreement with a chartered organization, then do it; there is no need to include the whole roster reconciliation and annual payment process at the same time. Apply for membership and pay the membership fee and fees for the unit you are joining online. Once a member is approved, automatic renewal and payment unless the member or unit cancels. You want to see who is registered in your unit? Open up the unit roster on My.Scouting -- every unit already has at least three people who can do that. And there is really no reason why adults have to register in a particular position (except no-fee positions, such as merit badge counselors). Let adults register as generic Adult Members, then assign them roles in My. Scouting.
  19. 4 points
    Because it's an outdoor program, I'm seeing ways to continue getting kids out of doors even if it's not necessarily advancement related. Camping is out but hiking isn't. You can easily maintain social distancing on a day hike. A lot of parents are going to be home with kids so two deep shouldn't be a problem. Buddy system can be parent and adult. Bird Study. Forestry. GPS & Orienteering badge components can all be worked on, some of it even in the backyard. Getting outdoors and away from other people may actually be the only recreational pursuit open to many Americans in the weeks ahead. If your focus is advancement, yes, you'll be stuck. If your focus is trying to help scouts come up with interesting things they can do outside in the spirit of scouting and the game, then you will innovate. Urban scouters will have a harder time with this but there are still parks or perhaps places within a close drive. In the words of someone else on here... that's my two cents on the subject.
  20. 4 points
    Or, maybe not. Consider the trajectory of membership growth since the addition of And agressively promotion HA bases. If BSA isn't squandering $$ on swaths of property inaccessible by most scouts (by miles and fees) it might just afford to keep costs down, thereby affording more members. If all the litigants asked for were titles to property, I'd give it them in a heartbeat.
  21. 4 points
    I am Scoutmaster of a 37-girl non-linked Troop. We operate in the standard matter as a Troop, with four patrols and all the normal elected and appointed youth leaders. Our SPL and her ASPL are tops and have attended NYLT. I believe you should operate the troops separately in accordance with BSA policy because that is the best way for the Scouts from both troops to have the full advantages and opportunities of Scouting. Fulfilling the role of an SPL is something not to be missed, and you should offer that to kids from both Troops. Operating your Troops as separately as possible will cause the girl troop to grow more quickly and provide the full leadership opportunities for more Scouts. Venturing is available for those chartered organizations who want to have a co-ed program. Scouts BSA is not co-ed.
  22. 4 points
    This circles back to vision. If you are inculcating a vision of adults managing youth for the sake of their entertainment or education, then patrolling is not necessary. In turn, BSA itself becomes superfluous. Scouting is in name only. If you are inculcating a vision of the pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with your mates, the need for a patrol -- especially one worthy of the Green Bar -- becomes immediately manifest. Scouting becomes essential.
  23. 4 points
    Now seems a time to earn Public Health merit badge. Be Prepared. Help others. https://nyamcenterforhistory.org/2016/02/10/what-a-boy-scout-merit-badge-tells-us-about-the-history-of-public-health/
  24. 4 points
    Why? Let's not confuse 2 deep with no one-on-one. 1 adult can be with multiple Scouts at a given time.
  25. 4 points
    @desertrat77, I did a google search on that image and found that the signature is John Sweet. He also wrote a "scout pioneering" book in 1974, a "patrol meeting blue prints" book in 1961 and a "more patrol activities book" in 1951. There was one copy of the blue prints book so I bought it. Just the idea of that book is intriguing. Anyway, I think John is/was a UK scouter. https://www.amazon.com/John-Sweet/e/B001KIGQI6/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
  26. 4 points
    So very, very true. So much of Scouting today -- rank requirements and merit badges -- is presented in school format. A large part of that is due to how requirements are written. It is wrong, it is sad, and it is one of the reasons that Scouting is dying.
  27. 3 points
    My daughter is doing Personal Fitness remotely now. She’d actually met in person with the counselor once before all this started and is now doing tele-meetings every three or four weeks to talk progress on her program and talk through one or more requirements (first one under quarantine was last week, with me hanging by for YPT compliance). His flexibility and hers schedulewise meant that discussion was likely longer and in more depth than it would’ve been with the face to face model. Working really well so far (and doing the fitness program is helping manage the time in stay-at-home mode too.
  28. 3 points
    I've averaged 1.5 units of rechartering for the last 16 years. About 24 recharters. The first several years were paper and very labor intensive. The first several were also relatively stressful because of learning the ins and outs. And they have all be time intensive casing a signatures and driving people in. The only way I've made it through these is I'm either very loyal or very stubborn. This process does burn out volunteers. This can damage scouting's relationship when handed to any adult not deeply vested in scouting and especially burns new parents. I doubt it hurts "troops", but it does clearly affect packs. This rechartering process also does little to renew the relationship between scouting and the chartering organizations. IMHO, scouting would be better served by a warm friendly conversation between a scouting contact and the charter org. The paperwork is of little significance. Maybe at the end of that warm friendly conversation, the scouting contact could sign the chartering agreement with the charter org contact. Beyond that, the rechartering paperwork is a waste. IMHO, this needs to become as simple as when I go into Amazon and repeat a previous order. Once I pay, it should be good.
  29. 3 points
    THE WAR IS OVER, BUT OUR WORK IS NOT. Post World War 1, about a million members and a drive to increase membership. We had a resume of purposeful service during the War, methods which achieved our objectives, and the support of a grateful nation. good read (4 pages), author Harold Horne https://books.google.com/books?id=aSTBSImgQxUC&pg=PA623&lpg=PA623&dq="Boy+Scouts"+%2B"The+War+Is+Over,+but+Our+Work+Is+Not"&source=bl&ots=gmfkJYHtXz&sig=ACfU3U39lHEazcqe8f92-cqlwuTnTJV4-Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj3itDhw4joAhVugnIEHeSdDXQQ6AEwAXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q="Boy Scouts" %2B"The War Is Over%2C but Our Work Is Not"&f=false As mentioned in source, I like the original idea of Boy Scout Week being celebrated from June 8 to Flag Day June 14., focus on patriotism and service. My $0.02,
  30. 3 points
    Why do you assume that missing summer camp is a failure? Is that a requirement that I am not aware of? Can a scout not have a full and satisfying scouting experience through troop and patrol camping?
  31. 3 points
    All Council activities here are shut down through April 2. Schools are in a 2 week state-wide shutdown and one source told me today it will be at least 8 weeks. No one is talking yet about Spring Break or Summer. My niece just called and her wedding scheduled for May 2 has been canceled because the venue is owned by a college, which is closing for the remainder of the school year. Frankly, I think in the coming weeks, Summer Camp will be the least of our concerns.
  32. 3 points
    Virtually nothing has changed since last year- the troops are separate units. There is a troop 123B and a troop 123G. Linked troops are an option that streamlines the administration for a Chartering Organization for the Committee only. The BSA implemented the rule that each unit must have their own SM, and it can not be the same person for both units to emphasize that they are two units at the program level. We don't have the side of the story for your Committee to know if they are reacting to "something changed" today, or if it has been an ongoing discussion. I can only offer that I had our committee and SM corps discuss planning last year on being a linked troop- while it did not happen yet due to lack of females interested, we remain open to the possibility. The statement that they are two units "on paper" is the problem- it isn't supposed to be just on paper, it is supposed to be in reality. While I understand all the arguments on why it makes sense to let the youth decide if they will hold joint activities for economy of scale and sharing resources to allow the units to grow, going around BSA policy to accomplish your own goals is not appropriate. Our job as adult unit leaders is to emphasize following the Oath and Law- teaching the youth to subvert rules and policy doesn't feel to me like it is keeping with that ideal. As to the question "where is it in writing that a youth member can't hold a leadership position over another troop (over, not in)", please refer to the handbook (or ILST, NYLT, etc.). Star rank requirement #5: "While a First Class Scout, serve actively in your troop for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility..." Again, you have two troops here, troop 123B and troop 123G, not one troop.
  33. 3 points
    A lot of heated discussion on this. Keeping it short...the troops should operate independently. Give each an identity and let it run. I'm sure each troop had a separate recharter packet, so they are linked by the same chartered org and/or committee? Please don't put out the cub program and BSA Scouts program have the same boy/girl rules. Cub rules are lighter.
  34. 3 points
    You told the Scouts they weren't going to Summer Camp? Why didn't the PLC make this decision?
  35. 3 points
    If that is the true intent, the slides aren't the problem, the neckerchief itself is. We need to go back to square neckers folded in half, and at a large enough size to actually be usable as a first-aid tool or other device. The knot really has very little to do with the utility of the neckerchief.
  36. 3 points
    Some might say the same things about ScoutsBSA membership numbers, the "one-and-done" ScoutsBSA advancement program, and the erosion of the ScoutsBSA patrol as the most important structural feature of the program.
  37. 3 points
    I think folks are forgetting the origins of the Boy Scouts. The program was designed to allow Scouts to do things on their own or with their patrols. Anyone remember the First Class journey requirement? It was a 14 mile round trip journey by foot or boat.It could be done by yourself or with another Scout. And it cold be all day, or include an overnigt camp out. Venturing is not what Scouting should become, rather Venturing is what Scouting use to be. The purpose of Scouting wasn't to earn ranks, but develop independance and skills needed for life. The Ranks just showed what skills you had mastered and what you were capable of doing. Advancement wasn't the whole focus of the program like it is today. And I am afraid for Venturing. Not only has its numbers dropped, the powers that be at National have started make it more like Scouts BSA. Instead of awards, they now have ranks. While there has always been a recommended uniform, there is a greater push for it now. And there are some limits as to what they can and cannot do. When I was in college, it was starting a outdoor r. I mentioned the advantages of being a High Adventure Explorer post, but no one was interested because of all the BSA's rules. As others stated, they could do the same activities on their own.
  38. 3 points
    I've argued before that Scouts BSA should be the Jr. High program focused exclusively on T21 skills. Move Star, Life Eagle into Venturing as the advancement/recognition track along with all merit badges. Make service to a troop as a TG or SPL part of advancement/recognition for the youth that care to pursue Eagle. Doing this would eliminate merit badge mill summer camps letting them focus on patrol method activities (e.g. patrols sign up for daily activities at camp and participate as patrols). It would also allow youth to master T21 skills.
  39. 3 points
    Nah. 18 year olds join the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force everyday. Lots of parents accept the risk of injury or death in exchange for "program." Courageous parents very well understand train them, trust them, let them lead. Adventurous young adults leave our programs because they are, and this is a word youth have used in my presence, lame.
  40. 3 points
    Well thank you all for your input and suggestions. I have decided that I will go ahead and add the red star, especially due to @ParkMan's insight: I have ignored those two years because they were, frankly, poorly managed by my leaders - but they were still two years of Scouting, pitiful though they may have been. That star will represent to me two years of potential that were never realized, and remind me of the need to do better by and for the Scouts now in my own care. Thanks all for sharing.
  41. 3 points
    I would consult a professional dry cleaner and see what they suggest. Once cleaned, I would have it framed with archival acid-free backing and UV-blocking glass. I just had some signed Norman Rockwell prints done and it was less than $250 for both including triple matting. I thought it was a bargain. This is a historical treasure and I hope you have a place of honor to display it!
  42. 3 points
    I guess the point is to keep the certificate of your current rank in your wallet along with your membership card. Just in case you're out of uniform and need to vouchsafe your rank. What is special about the pocket certificates, IMHO, are the signatures. They don't prove anything beyond what's already in the scout's book and unit records. Years later, however, pulling those cards out of the shoebox in the attic and seeing the signatures of SPL, SM, and CC while your kids fiddle with your sash and loose patches can bring back fond memories. They might remind you of a story or two that you could tell. Or, maybe, your kids might know that SPL's kids or the SM and CC's grandkids. A few more cards in the stack of blue cards ... no harm in that.
  43. 3 points
    The book is the proper documentation for rank advancement. Those cards are actually certificates - awards in and of themselves, and not meant to be official record-keeping. In many lower-income areas, the certificates are the only awards the boys receive, as the patches are too expensive for the units to afford. In other units, they only procure the patches, and never bother with the certificates. Either way, they are optional according to the traditions and preferences of the unit and have no bearing on the Scout's future advancement. In fact my brother, ever frugal, has a standing request in his sons' troop that they not purchase them for his boys as he considers them a waste of money. So, no, there is absolutely no problem if the Scout has, does not have, keeps or tosses those cards. They are, for all intents and purposes, unnecessary. What matters is what's in his book. Hope that helps!
  44. 3 points
    It's the Outdoors mission for me. Outdoors is neutral territory no matter what your politics. There is a huge groundswell of interest among young kids today in the environment, but a lot of them don't know the first thing about it or have access to it. Why are we not capitalizing on this? Our program -- the ranks and the merit badges -- need an overhaul to get rid of the school and homework type drivel and to emphasize more outdoors related activities. There is so much that scouting does not get into or go very deep with, from wildlife biology to weather to water resources. People mock STEM scouts but there is a lot of STEM programming that can be done in the context of the out of doors.
  45. 3 points
    I'm tracking re wearing. I haven't worn service stars since the Carter Administration. As far as significance, I believe service stars have their place. One example is @The Latin Scot's situation. Though I respect the differing opinions, I think he should wear the star, red background. Another would be the adult who was a scout for 3 or 4 years. Made it to First Class. Earned a few merit badges. He was active in his troop, went to summer camp, 50 milers, was a patrol leader, etc. Though he didn't make Eagle (and that's okay) he was a good scout, and his experiences made a lasting, positive impression. So that little service star with the green background, pinned above his pocket, may not mean much to anyone else. But it will be special to him.
  46. 3 points
    A fundamental problem is BSA markets adventure, but delivers JROTC. My statement is absolutist, but reflects a chicken and egg issue. Which do we emphasize first and which comes as a natural result. I write as I'm often sad when I see "Sometimes it feels more like an adventure club than a scout troop." A valid statement made by a respected scouter, but it does so so make me sad. My personal view is that scouting is best served by focusing on adventure and activities. Getting the scouts out going places and doing things. Then, the structures necessary to achieve adventure and activities naturally drive teaching leadership, etc. Youth up front running things. Dividing into sub-teams. Mentoring and teaching skills, etc. I also hold this view because from what I've seen the vast majority of adults are horrible at explicitly teaching leadership. In fact, I often disagree with what they call leadership. IMHO, the best way to teach leadership is by modeling the right behaviors and letting the scouts get out in front of their fellow scouts. Scouts learn best by watching and doing. That's why I don't mind people calling BSA an adventure club. Because I think leadership, physical fitness, citizenship is a natural result of the right primary focus... Adventure.
  47. 3 points
    But it doesn't have to be so. At our core, Scouting is a fun activity for kids that gives them new experiences and adventures. Along the way the kid learns some self reliance and independence. The program is led by parents from withing our community which means it reflects the values of the kids in the program. If you look at it like that, there is very little that most parents cannot get behind. There is no reason to want to destroy Scouting. In fact, it is exactly the kind of supportive, nurturing environment that progressives want. The problem is that we all want to label it. Many of our former and current members want to label it as a conservative, religious, based program. Many of those outside of the movement see that and want to criticize it for that reason. It is well within the reach of Scouting to move past all these labels and get to what it really is - a fun activity for kids, that installs self reliance, and led by people who share your values. Further, if one pack is too progressive for your liking, join the more conservative one down the street. I live in a pretty progressive area. We have had numerous parents who are of exactly the type of people who you'd think would oppose Scouting on principal. I've heard several parents remark that they never thought their child would enjoy Scouting, but then for some reason or another took a chance and learned more about our pack & troop. As a result, we've had great membership success.
  48. 3 points
    I think we correct this by bringing back the type of scouting depicted in the upper panel of the drawing. The scouts are learning to lead by actually leading, being outdoors, and engaging in scout skills that encourage adventure. Patrol leaders teach scout skills and lead their scouts. The SPL is the roving on-scene leader watching, correcting, encouraging PLs. The SM is on the edge of the field, with a cup of coffee, a comfortable chair and an eagle eye on how the SPL is doing. Today we have the opposite model. Indoor minded adults. Adults stealing the duties of the PLs and SPLs. Lectures instead of hikes. No patrol identity or autonomy. Boring. Is the type of scouting in the top panel of the drawing perfect? No, lots of chaos. And some risk. But ultimately it's the most effective type of scouting in the world. And it's a good leadership lab too.
  49. 3 points
    And NSPs are an adult organizational concept. In one trop I was in with that used NSPs, scouts from 4 different packs were put into a NSP. Some of those Scouts joined with the intent of being with friends, who happened to be in different patrols. It was not a good year in the troop. One of the complaints, among many, we had back in 1986-87 when we were the guinea pigs trying out the NSP concept. While not everyone will be a Scout, if you deliver the promise, the outdoors, they will come. If you have a true youth led program, instead of adults conctantly overruling and contradicting the youth leaders, it will be successful. Troop I am currently with has 2 Scouts were never in Cubs. Agree, if it is no the Scout's idea to be in the unit, they will come up with any excuse. Worse, they will cause major problems that affect the other Scouts. THIS!
  50. 3 points
    Powerful article, thanks @RememberSchiff! Two parts of the article: "'The local councils are not independent,” said Los Angeles attorney Paul Mones, whose suit against the Boy Scouts of America a decade ago resulted in the release of the “Perversion Files” — details of alleged sexual abuse secretly kept by the Boy Scouts for decades — as well as a $19.9 million verdict for a former Scout who was abused by his Scout leader in the 1980s. 'Even though the local councils have their own corporations, they’re inextricably linked to the national,” Mones said. “The Boy Scouts of America has to approve the troop leaders. The Boy Scouts of America carries the retirement plans. Every year, the local councils have to apply for an annual charter, which is approved by the Boy Scouts of America. 'There’s a real overlap, a significant overlap,” Mones said. “To the extent they allege that they’re separate entities, that remains to be seen."” and..... "The Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy petition lists assets of at least $1 billion, and liabilities of up to that amount. "The Scout executives who received large compensation packages are among the creditors standing in line for money. "'This has been a boondoggle for decades, where insiders pay themselves million-dollar salaries with fabulous pension plans,” said Tim Kosnoff, an attorney also representing abuse victims. “It’s sickening to see. They’re paid more than any other not-for-profit in the country. This is an abusive organization in more ways than one."” ------------------------------ My thoughts: - I watched my council's video response to the chapter 11 announcement. It assured us that things are going to be just ducky, National itself and National's problems are far, far away, the council is independent, solvent, and will always be, and the council would continue to provide the world class service that we unit and district types have grown to know and expect. Struck me as pie in the sky then, and even more so now. - National execs are (were) living high on the hog while victims were seeking recourse, and while the organization itself foundered. Hubris. Well, for the commissioned BSA professionals of Irving TX, the gravy train is over.
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