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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/22/18 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    The economist in me smiles at this statement. This truth applies to almost anything we do. That said, and I'm not trying to defend some of the boneheaded things coming out of Texas, the great U.S of A. is a VERY big place. It's sometimes hard to remember that what's "natural" or "apparent" to us locally doesn't apply or have the same meaning to someone across town, across a District, or across a Council, much less across a country as big as ours. A Scouter's experience growing up in a local Pack, bridging over to an attached Troop and eventually finding a home as a Scouter all with an involved CO in a small community is/can be very different from the experience of a Scouter who's experience is in a larger community with multiple CO's, both religious & community based, who are very "hands off". For me locally, I know our DE works her butt off. But I'm still not convinced there's much "value added" to my Cub Scout Pack. After all the money that comes out of my personal pocket (much like classroom teachers) for this & that in our Pack, the popcorn sales, the registration fees and the many hours a month that I volunteer, FOS solicitations kind of feel insulting to me. Just my 2¢, YMMV.
  2. 3 points
    I would like to say I really don't care how colleges view my boys' Eagle awards, if they even get them. If a college looks at my kids and doesn't see them as wonderful people, then it's their loss. And, I get that top colleges are competitive, but I don't really know if my kids will be chasing top colleges. What I want in an Eagle Scout journey for my sons is the maturity and real world experience the journey gives them. My boys are youngish, 11 and 13 and they are just starting to learn. My older son was supposed to lead cooking on this last weekend's campout and I heard it did not go well. But he's 13 and hopefully he will get more chances to do better and he will get better in time. It was his first time trying. Hopefully he gets lots of experiences! He is getting closer to first class. One baby step at a time. I don't care how other people view Eagle, I care about formation. If my boys learn the skills, that's the point, they will be better off than where they started. Schools do not do a complete job with young people, I view Scouts as an important educational experience.
  3. 2 points
    Obviously, some changes are trivial (shoulder loop colors) and some are not (restructuring the program for girls). Responses should be proportional. When our opinions as volunteers are ignored and disregarded, it seems we have only two ways to object: with our feet and with our dollars. How else to send a message they will pay attention to?
  4. 2 points
    Because you have interacted with them, and have found the majority of Wood Badge trained people in your Council that you have met to be non-impressive in Scout skills and Spirit. I've met only a few in our Council that have been through Wood Badge that I have though highly of.
  5. 2 points
    I have been passionate about Scouting for my whole life, but my motivation is driven entirely from interaction with the boys. I know there are many Scouters out there who derive great personal satisfaction from their relationships with other Scouters. BSA seems almost like a fraternal order to them. This is going to sound terrible and I mean no offense to anyone on this forum, but I really hate hanging out with other Scouters. That is why I have always dodged things like Wood Badge. If a Scouting event is not centered on the boys, I'd rather spend my time at home remodeling my kitchen - lol. Once again - please forgive my offense with this honest confession.
  6. 1 point
    Just a reminder for those of us whose invitation has yet to arrive ... https://nam.scouting.org/
  7. 1 point
    I'll admit a bit of a smile here. Welcome to the world of non-LDS Scouting. There are never enough volunteers. The church is just about never behind what we're doing. No one is instructed to be a volunteer. The volunteers are out there. It just takes a little vision and persistence. We'd love to have you join the club
  8. 1 point
    I think this is a bit unfair for us to generalize. We're making statements about who DEs are and what their motivation are. We all have different experiences. I know mine well and he was a guy who was a dedicated scout and later volunteer. He decided he wanted to make a living out of it. Yes, he worries about money and membership because he has to. But he's also first to be concerned about program too.
  9. 1 point
  10. 1 point
    I'm sorry but this is incredibly shortsighted and frankly insulting to a lot of good professionals out there. We work TOGETHER to provide a program FOR THE YOUTH. Do I think National execs and some SE's make too much? Yea, i kinda do. But to think cutting their salaries is the magical fix to all the problems with the BSA, that's just silly. I try to be humble about our jobs because this truly is a volunteer driven organization, but to say we do nothing to support the units pisses me off to no end. Don't for one second think i'm doing this job to give my boss a bigger paycheck, I do it because I want to grow this program I love.
  11. 1 point
    I have met some very good Scouters who are Wood Badge trained, and many I feel would be just as good had they not gone through that program. I have also met some people that makes me question what the heck they actually teach, as these folks are about as in-touch with the aims and methods of Scouting as a tree.
  12. 1 point
    Nothing published yet. When LDS dropped Varsity and Venturing for older boys, it was replaced with a flexible church youth program that allows boys to pick from a wide variety of activities (sort of cafeteria style). Categories include spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual. What's missing are the badges and rank advancements (which some here decry as an impure motivation, anyway). If the new church youth program to replace BSA looks anything like that, I think we will be just fine. Eagle Scout will always hold a cachet separate from other youth programs.
  13. 1 point
    I'm in a similar boat. I was asked recently if I'd ever want to do Wood Badge and I said "No." Apparently I was a little too quick to respond, think I kind of surprised the guy asking. He was looking at me as if it was somehow odd that I wouldn't want to do Wood Badge. This was the same guy who asked me what my goals were for my own scouting career. I had no answer, I don't think about it like that. All I've thought about since I started is the Pack program and my Den. I don't know if that will change over the years, but right now I just don't see myself taking an interest in the Scouter stuff that is more focused on adults than kids.
  14. 1 point
    Breaking point for most will be when substantial change that you are not in favor of or cannot support comes to roost in whatever part of Scouting where you personally find satisfaction and reward. For me that satisfaction and reward is working with the troop at the unit level. Changes in membership requirements a few years back, really did not effect the unit. Adding girls, we do not do any district or council camporees and also plan to be single gender (no linked either) so again does not really effect the unit. Name changes ( to loosely quote Starship - Someone always playing corporation games; Who cares they're always changing corporation names) really does not effect the unit. Summer camp may be a different thing in 2019, will have to see and we will adjust plans as needed. Are there things that would effect the unit? Absolutely. Requirements could change, less outdoor focus (we really need more), maybe Coed is not optional, substantial membership fee increases, and other myriad items. Then that could be a breaking point Real challenge is that with these changes how does this effect potential families and boys perception of the BSA? Obviously depends on what you are looking for in a group. Not sure if a 10 year old boy who maybe is one the fence will now rush to join since girls can join.
  15. 1 point
    That's fair, freedom first imo. For me, having it on me has proven convenient in a multitude of ways, but mostly because I've only assessed what needs fixing when it's already in hand well away from my work bench were better, more dedicated tools are located. cork screw has proven it's worth more times than I can count and maybe only 1 out of 10 times to actually open a wine bottle, scissors have given me a quick nose trim in the mens room out in public many a time, the blade has cut more than it's fair share of fruit while at work, scored cardboard for kid's art projects, stripped insulation from wiring in the server room, Lord knows I've used the flat head for more than it should be allowed to be used for, etc etc etc. The swiss army knife is the greatest multi-tool ever created imo and I can't imagine being without one. ever. Also, Gibb's rule #9: "Never go anywhere without a knife".
  16. 1 point
    I'd let it go. Your work as Scoutmaster will speak volumes. I'd you get dragged into it, then it just gets worse. I'd be happy with your service, take the high road, wish him the best, and just move on.
  17. 1 point
    Maybe some deeper self-examination is necessary. You may be joking, but that IS the impression made by the 'professionals' time and time again. WE can't help it that quite often the only ones signing up to be paid Scouters are a bunch of bumbling fools. Is that a fair assessment of all of them? Hardly, but you form your opinions based on what you have experienced. What we volunteers can do is often ignore the interference and idiocy and deliver quality as opposed to bureaucracy.
  18. 1 point
    Rephrase: groups of teens do these on their own ... without the guidance of an organization priding itself on training leaders and being prepared. Last week, I got a picture of a young relative atop his a "tree house" three stories tall -- built from found plywood. Sketchy did not begin to define it! If his former SM was willing and able to deliver on the promise of scouting, that could have been a safe, solid pioneering tower! Our nation's most ambitious kids are in harms way thanks to a litigious society.
  19. 1 point
    both of these are utterly absurd. a group of teens already do just about anything on their own without the guidance of the BSA... but under the guise of an organization priding itself on training leaders and being prepared... they are barred from doing so. absurdity to the max.
  20. 1 point
    LDS Scouting died in July 2015 when BSA announced its decision to admit gay adult leaders. The funeral was simply delayed due to the time required to formulate a replacement LDS youth program. After BSA's July 2015 vote, the strongly worded LDS response was shockingly candid in airing dirty laundry. "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church’s governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined. The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America." Co-ed Scouting was a clumsy decision made out of financial desperation upon being notified internally of the LDS exit date. That explains the manipulative surveys to elicit coerced support for an unpopular decision, followed by a rushed announcement of a half-baked idea with few program details available. @The Latin Scot is absolutely correct in the way he articulates LDS views about gender and complementary roles, but BSA's girl decision did not trigger the LDS exit. The BSA girl decision was quite irrelevant by that point (i.e. do whatever you think is best to secure the future of your movement, because LDS is leaving regardless).
  21. 1 point
    I relate to the "Scouting Addict" label. With three generations of Eagles, I used to joke that Scouting was part of our family DNA. My breaking point was realizing that all levels of Scouting will be moving to co-ed except the individual troop unit. Everything else (every district, council, national event - including summer camps) will be co-ed. BSA's promise of a parallel girl program is yet another lie. Seeing all the new BSA promotional materials focused on girls, it's clear that boys are being left out in the cold in this new "Family Scouting". Boys' needs now take a back seat to inclusion, and that feels like a betrayal. Anyone who disagrees with BSA's new co-ed direction is branded as "unScoutlike" and a "conditional Scouter". While disagreeable, I could swallow the changes for gay/trans because those decisions change very little in a practical way. The decision about girls will change everything. Liberals/progressives will cheer these social victories, but they won't replace the departing conservatives/traditionalists who will vote with their feet and dollars. Abandonment of God is next. In a decade, we won't even recognize this movement. I do not have an optimistic vision of BSA's future. The girl decision won't halt BSA's membership declines any more than gay/trans did. More boys will be lost than girls gained for a net loss of membership. When girls are not attracted in sufficient numbers, more changes will follow to make Scouting more "family-friendly", all while the boys continue to walk away into the arms of the video game culture. BSA's financial desperation will worsen due to huge debts for The Summit. I predict some sort of bankruptcy reorganization in the next decade with possible sale of assets. I am an LDS Scouter with two terms (10+ years) as Scoutmaster. Service at the district level, too. I will exit BSA along with our troop of 30 boys on 12/31/2019. Consideration of me joining a non-LDS troop is out of the question due to BSA shifting its focus away from boys. My Eagle Scout son has had an amazing Scouting adventure with 6 palms, 50+ nights of camping, 150+ miles of hiking, 6 BSA summer camps, National Jamboree, plus Order of the Arrow. I'm so glad that he could experience the best of traditional Scouting before all these changes, and I'm thrilled that I could come along for the ride. We are the kind of "unScoutlike" and "conditional Scouter" family that has been alienated. It's all very sad.
  22. 1 point
    There are a few historical trails around the Boston metro area that you can receive a patch and medal to wear on the uniform. The following link provides the information on how to order them after completing the hikes. Happy hiking. http://www.witchtrail.com/wtctrails.htm
  23. 1 point
    In my council uniforms are worn to everything. I was especially impressed by how well uniformed our district was during the entirety of Camporee weekend and Scout-O-Rama this past month. I gotta say, uniforms are being worn much more often and more correctly than when I was a Scout in this area growing up. So yeah - lots of people are still wearing the uniform on their activities. I guess just not where you live.
  24. 1 point
    So funny. As the kids left, we took on housing 1st year fellows from our church's college outreach (think missionaries in training and you get the idea), what with their ministry and social contacts the house is rarely empty and often quite full. Empty nest? Well, if nests have revolving doors, maybe? And then there's the occasional spur-of-the-moment Kazakh's invite to random events, like the symphony backstage or ballet dancer's birthday party. (Don't ask. I couldn't explain if I tried. I just take it as a chance to try and fit "moose and squirrel" into the conversation.) It's not just me. Other friends "adopt" refugee families, support to high school playoff games, band competitions, etc. The lucky ones, in my opinion, have grand babies. There is life outside of scouting (even my SM ... he was a church organist and delivered Meals on Wheels). Scouting prepares us for life ... not the other way around.
  25. 1 point
    My replacement requested I take a 3 month hiatus because he felt my respect with the scouts might overshadow his effort in developing a relationship with them. I thought that odd since I trained him to be "Just like me". Barry