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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/18/19 in Posts

  1. 5 points
    That may very well work for you, but to my Libertarian views it smacks of building irrational fear to justify encroaching on personal liberties. "Don't worry, we'll keep you safe from them; all you have to give up is just a few of your Rights."
  2. 5 points
    False equivalence. Rights of homeowner and parent are a bit more permissive than that of a Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster's actions were inappropriate. He should never go through anybody's belongings by himself or without the owner present. Period. Nothing he was doing solved an immediate threat to safety. If he had concerns, he could have waited until the owners returned, gave them a chance to turn over any "contraband", then if still necessary conducted the search inspection under witness of a second adult and the property owner. I would think in this era that adults have learned; why even put yourself in a position of being accused of something perverse by rooting around alone in a Scout's personal (and private) belongings?
  3. 4 points
    I think the real issue is two fold: The SM doesn't care what parents think. He could be a pompous windbag, or he could see a threat that others don't. Likely there's a little of both. Parents who are concerned along with @Scoutmomonly want a national policy to use against an SM. There isn't one. And personally, I find that asking for one violates my rule #1: Don't ask for a rule, you'll live to regret it.
  4. 4 points
    I disagree. Scout leaders may have the right to search, but actually doing it is something reserved for the rare occasion and with the scout present. Searching all the scout's stuff without them there because of what the leader saw with one or two scouts is just wrong. If I heard that before my sons joined the troop, I'd look to another troop. It's a flag that the scout leaders and the scouts have an adversarial relationship and don't trust each other. It's just not the scout model we want.
  5. 3 points
    If a Scout claims to be agnostic - and I have had that conversation, the basic definition I fall back on is a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God My view was the Scout was in fact developing his beliefs. He was trying to define. He did not claim there was no God, just he was not really sure. We spoke on beliefs and that true, you likely could not prove the existence of God. This particular Scouts issue was more with organized religion. He did not really feel that Church was beneficial. We had a good conversation and my advise to him was to let your faith and beliefs develop, be open. Defining God is tough, sometimes organized religion is not your path.
  6. 3 points
    Because Scouting is a youth development organization. The often repeated phrase is "Scouting is a game with a purpose." The game is outdoor adventure. The purpose is youth development. Four of the eight methods of Scouting are: Ideals Adult Association Personal Growth Leadership Development Ideals - A scout is trustworthy. if a Scout is trustworthy, then why the do we need searches? Is a leader is courteous - shouldn't he respect the personal belongings of another and not search them without notice? Adult Association - Adult leaders, how they conduct themselves, and how they relate to Scouts become examples that the Scouts learn from. What kind of example does it set for a leader to start going through a Scout's belongings? Personal Growth - Creating an atmosphere of high expectations where searches are not needed seems like the right starting point. Then, if something happens which destroys that trust, then a serach is conducted. If a search is needed, and the Scout is present, it presents an opportuntiy for the Scout to learn from the process. It's uncomortale being accused of some mis-deed and then having an adult conduct a search with you there. This presents an opportunity for the Scout to learn why a search is needed, how he broke the trust of the Scoutmaster, and what mistakes he has made. Leadership Development - Youth learn leadership skills from adults. What kind of example does it set for a leader to say "I decided to go through your things without you there because I wanted to check up on you"? Finally - what contraband in Scouting is so awful that we, as adults, need to run around searching Scout's belongings without them there? A cell phone? medicine? Some food? Is this really so awful?
  7. 3 points
    The joy of Scoutmastership. You take a bunch of other people's kids into the woods for the experience. You are directly responsible for their well-being and safety. There are hundreds of written pages of contradictory policy and procedures. You know that if, God forbid, something goes wrong, your competence, character, and commitment to the kids will be publicly questioned and if it's bad enough you'll be named in the law suit. But, if you take any action you believe required related to the kids well-being and safety, people come out of the woodwork because you violated the kids trust or hurt their feelings or some other nonsense. I'm so happy not to be a SM any more. @Scoutmomonly, do you ask for your son's permission before you enter his bedroom?
  8. 3 points
    Inspecting gear with scouts present, able to correct deficiencies, and looking for cleanliness, compliance, and serviceability is totally acceptable and expected. Done on a whim, in secret, or as a good idea is not what we want scouts to emulate. This inspection is best done in privacy as easy as behind a vehicle with the parents at the pick up point. They can take the prohibited stuff, have knowledge of what the scout has, and in semi-privacy, stash the polka dot drawers without having a public showing.
  9. 3 points
    David CO Sorry, I would have no problem with the boys presenting themselves for inspection. I have a problem with the fact that this was done behind their backs.
  10. 3 points
    Referring back to the original posting topic, it was about whether going through a tote without the owner's presence is acceptable. To be blunt...no. I wonder how that leader would react if scouts went through his gear while he was away. I bet he would go crazy. If there was an immediate risk to life, limb, or eyesight, maybe it would be ok only to eliminate the risk. Even then, not doing in solo or without owners present is wrong. In my 30 plus years in law enforcement, searches were always an issue. With the owner present can save a lot of time when you tell them what you are looking for. I won't get into the legalities of this leader. I was thinking how the first scout law applies to this situation. Seems the leader is not trustworthy in the eyes of the scouts. In my day as a smart-mouth scout, I probably would have asked him for me to go through his gear, or tell him we are putting two scouts to watch his actions. I think I have outgrown that attitude, maybe. The meds are one thing, but OMG a phone at camp, scouts BSA is going to crumble (sarcasm).
  11. 3 points
    I would say this kid needs some counselling to get to the bottom of it, and finding ways to cope with it. I've had kids on the autistic spectrum not be able to cope with certain aspects of certain camps, one had to go home in the middle of the night. Not great. My uninformed and unprofessional guess is maybe he's catastrophising, and that's working him up, and him getting worked up is slipping into a vicious cycle where he's worrying about getting so anxious, which is making everything worse, making him more anxious, which is worrying, and all rationality goes out the window. He's probably getting anxious at the knowledge that he'll be crying and having an anxiety attack when he goes to bed on camp, what will his friends think, and he feels powerless to stop it. My guess is the best thing would be someone calm and rational to talk to, even in the middle of the night, plus some counselling to give him some tools and coping strategies.
  12. 3 points
    There are no BSA class B uniforms; there are, however, activity shirts. As much as I admire scouts who do all of their outdoor activities in ther field uniform, I've never found this a hill to die on. I've also never been thrilled with BSA's marketing material, so there's that.
  13. 2 points
    For what its worth in this declining age: “Trust should be the basis for all our moral training.” BP
  14. 2 points
    I'm not so sure we disagree. I, like you, would argue that the Scout needs to be present for that search. Further, I don't have much use for these kind of searches, but if a leader thinks it needs to happen, then they can have a search. Others here think a search of the Scout's belongings without the Scout present is fine. I, again like you, disagree with that position.
  15. 2 points
    David CO I said half of the involved families. Not half the unit. I agree there is a unit issue. I have tried repeatedly to address this. The conversation is one sided. You can’t solve an issue when only one side sees an issue. The items found have not been prohibited/regulated in the previous four years these scouts attended this camp. Nor was their current status well communicated. Look, I’m all for following the rules and expectations. I’m a teacher. I also co-led this troop at this particular summer camp outing two years ago. I was unable to due to surgery last year. I get the struggles and liabilities. I’ve been in this guy’s spot. However, I would never violate a scout by going through his personal belongings while he was out of camp. Especially not the older boys who have a more developed sense of identity. Maybe that’s because I’m a female and I am well aware of the delicate balance I would find myself in by doing that. But I think it is just basic human decency to stay out of things that don’t belong to you. If I had a concern, I would find a more respectful way to handle it. Obviously, a more immediate threat would warrant a search. But let’s remember, he was concerned about wet clothes and trash initially. There was no perceived threat of any kind.
  16. 2 points
    Regarding medicines, many troops like the one I was in had a code of conduct that the scout signed that stated that meds were controlled on campouts through a designated camp medic parent. Also stated phones not allowed on the campouts. They sign and agree to it. Very few 11 year olds do a good job on their medicine. Also, many camps require all medicine to go through the camp medic (even over the counter meds in states like Colorado). Is it within the SM's ability to go through the bags? yes. He/she is responsible for keeping the scouts safe and ensuring they are following the troops code of conduct. Was he right to go through the bags? maybe? Safety is the top priority and honestly all the facts aren't out here for any of us including you to make the call on that . Should he have done it differently? Probably. He could have easily waited until the scouts returned to base camp and had each scout present his gear for inspection to the troop leaders and been there while that happenned. Is this a permanent stain for the SM? NO! The scouts will not focus on it and worry about it as long as the parents let it go. Cut the SM some slack, he gives a ton of his personal time to all the boys, gives up his vacation to go to camp, and works with the scouts year round without fail. Can parents exasperate the problem? YES! I have had to deal with parents on issue where they poisoned the youth about the leaders and troop. Even secretly breaking the code of conduct rules. The other boys notice and came to me frustrated about why the other people get to do things differently or break the rules. Discussions with parents normally work but we have had to restrict a couple parents from meetings/campouts where they could manage to operate within the guidelines. It is a last resort and usually they move to a different troop and repeat the process until they quit. It saddens me but that is what it comes down to.
  17. 2 points
    That's different. That expected inspection has to do with being prepared and having the right gear for the right situation. That inspection is not to prevent violations of scout oath and law.
  18. 2 points
    A few key points have been missed. You'll have enough problems at camp that you don't need to hunt for more. Scoutmasters should't be enforcers. SM job is to relate to the scouts. Baden-Powell said ... “I had stipulated that the position of Scoutmaster was to be neither that of a schoolmaster nor of a commander Officer, but rather that of an elder brother among his boys, not detached or above them individually, able to inspire their efforts and to suggest new diversions when his finger on their pulse told him the attraction of any present craze was wearing off." — Robert Baden-Powell, Lessons from the Varsity of Life, 1933. This situation ... IMHO ... how I view it ... there is nothing to report. you don't have liability. Usually if the scouts have medicine, the parents provided it. If they didn't, then you have a larger issue. the phones absolutely could have waited until the scouts were there or until there was an obvious violation. the scoutmaster created a wedge between the scouts and himself. Maybe this is a learning experience for the scouts, but it will be something to work through.
  19. 2 points
    It says that if female scouts are negotiating with the terrorists, there must be at least one female adult terrorist present. Cub scouts are only allowed to negotiate with terrorists armed with BB guns. When terrorists are detonating bombs, the scouts must be accompanied by an NRA-certified Range Safety Officer.
  20. 2 points
    A few years back I had a chance to talk to one my 13yo scouts about switching from Patrol Method cooking to dining hall and here was his replay - No way should we switch! Patrol Method cooking for a whole week teaches accountibilty and team work way better than a weekend camp out. - Why? - Because when we do a weekend campout someone in charge of cleanig a pot on a Saturday can easily just shove that pot into the patrol box and no one will know who didnt clean when it comes out of the box the following month. When we have a full week to do cooking everyone knows who is pulling their weight and their is a lot of group pressure to do your job right. This is where I findly figured out what responsibility really meant.
  21. 1 point
    Fair point and understood. I think ask just about any kid and they'd tell you that school administrators don't trust them. Do we want to create the same relationship between Scoutmasters & Scouts?
  22. 1 point
    I don't think so. One of the reasons we do routine locker inspections at school is so students cannot claim that they have an expectation of privacy. This way, if and when a serious concern arises, the students cannot challenge a search. They have no expectation of privacy. We are not saying, "We don't trust you." We are saying, "We do not want to establish an expectation of privacy." It is exactly the same with overnight trips (including scouts, sports, and band). We do not want to have any policy, practice, or procedure that would legally establish an expectation of privacy.
  23. 1 point
    Most scoutmasters wouldn't let themselves get into this situation. That's because they would be "Trained" leaders who know about youth leadership and the patrol method and the importance of open, honest, communication in any leadership role. "Contraband" should be defined only based on established policies of the camp, the established policies of the troop, and solutions to problems discussed and agreed upon by the SPL-led PLC. If scoutmasters see an issue that is not an imminent life and death situation, they should raise the issue with the SPL (explaining any valid rationale for the issue, --- like health or policy violations, etc.) and suggest he consult with his PLC to find a suitable solution. When the boys solve their own problems, the scoutmaster doesn't run the risk of appearing untrustworthy or disrespecting any individual scout. It also means that parents don't have any justification for their knee-jerk reactions to situations they never witnessed themselves and only heard about 2nd or 30th hand from their scout...
  24. 1 point
    There is no requirement to type. Our district requires the proposal to be typed or in pen. No pencil. But I'm not sure there is even a requirement to be in pen. The key point is the project is required. The paperwork is supporting material. The paperwork should reflect the quality that will be in the project and in the scout. Beyond that, it's the "plan, develop and lead" that we are looking to agree on in the proposal. But the paperwork itself is NOT the rank requirement and it absolutely does not need to be typed. I highly suggest reading BSA Guide To Advancement beginning to end. Also, subscribe to BSA Advancement News Publication Index --> https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/advancement-news/ Topic Index --> https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/advancement/ The Nov/Dec 2017 Advancement News article on projects jumping the gun has some applicable quotes. Page 8. Last paragraph. The Aug/Sep 2013 Adv News has an article on keeping project proposal approvals simple, encouraging and mentions not getting stuck on technicalities. The Jan/Feb 2019 Adv News has a great article on what is expected in a proposal review. The Guide To Advancement section on Eagle projects and ranks is critical too.
  25. 1 point
    When you spin off a different troop, do everyone a favor and meet on a different night from you current unit. There is nothing more frustrating to members of a community when they see that they have a choice of location, but meeting times are the same.