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  1. 20 points
    To everyone on scouter.com, Now that girls are already in the cub program and they are about to enter the scout program it's time to welcome them. That's a nice way of saying stop complaining about girls in the BSA. Every thread that is about girls entering troops has gone off the rails. There have been complaints about how the decision was made, the negative impact on boys, what's wrong with the BSA, and just a lot of anger. I understand that people want to complain in general but we can't have complaints about the decision to include girls any more. The reason is simple. No scout should feel unwelcome in this program. Any scout that abides by the Scout Oath and Law, or their parents, should never feel like they shouldn't belong. When people on this forum complain that the surveys were rigged or that girls will ruin it for the boys then the message every girl gets is that they aren't welcome and that their being in the BSA is a mistake. Now that girls are here the complaints need to stop and we have to welcome them. A scout is a friend to all. I'm not saying there can't be any griping anymore. The distinction between what I'm talking about and general frustration is simple. If a 12 year old girl reads a comment that says girls shouldn't be in the scout program of the BSA, or that the decision was a mistake, then that's what I'm talking about. For example, saying that you won't go to a summer camp or camporees where there are girls is just telling the girls they aren't welcome. Saying that your scouts have to get eagle and get out before the girls arrive is just saying girls aren't welcome. Saying that national didn't listen to everyone's opinion about girls is just saying nobody wants girls in troops. No girl in the BSA should read that on this forum. This argument is over. The BSA decided. It's time to be Obedient. For those that want to keep arguing there are a few options: 1) Accept the change. Be curious and see how this change plays out with an open heart. Girls are scouts and they're in the BSA to have fun with their friends in the outdoors. Change is always rough but it keeps happening. 2) Leave. Stand by your principles and realize it's time to move on and find another way to volunteer your time. BSA troops have changed and there's no going back. 2.1) Don't engage in these threads. For those that still want to be a part of the BSA but still aren't happy with girls: Understand that complaining about girls in the BSA has a negative impact on those girls, or their parents, that are reading these threads. Learn to let it go. 3) Fight it. You can PM me, the other moderators, or @SCOUTER-Terry if you don't like this decision. I'll be honest, we're tired of watching these threads. You can also just ignore this and keep complaining. Well, you can try but you're just going to make yourself bitter. And we'll remove your posts and ban you from this forum if you keep it up. @LeCastor, @RememberSchiff, @John-in-KC, @desertrat77, @NJCubScouter.
  2. 18 points
    Our family came terrifyingly close to tragedy last night. We were on our way home from a birthday dinner for my nephew when my cell rang and it was my oldest son, who had been in a car accident. He was still trapped in the wreckage. He had stopped on the Interstate for another wreck, and a youngster plowed into the back of his car doing at least 65 mph. I immediately turned around and headed his way and got trapped in the traffic gridlock, as we watched police cars, ambulances and wreckers try to get to the scene. Then got another call saying he was in the ambulance headed to the ER. As traffic began to move, we could barely recognize the remains of his Honda Accord sitting on the side of the road, the rear half of the car flattened all the way up to the driver's seat. The hospital was only a mile away, but being trapped in that traffic was one of the most agonizing hours of our lives. When my wife saw what was left of his car, she fell apart. Bottom line, he is alive and well, save for a nasty bump on the head and a concussion. We all fell apart when we realized that, somewhere in that twisted mass of metal and broken glass, is my 3 year old grandson's car seat. He had stayed home safe with Mom last night. In all, four cars were involved and everyone walked away. The state trooper who found us in the ER said it was a "Miracle" that he was alive. As far as we know, alcohol and drugs were not involved...it was simply a case of not paying attention. I asked if he was on his cell phone and the trooper said, "aren't they all?" The other driver was charged with reckless driving. As I recount this, the tears are flowing at how close I came to losing a Son. The Hand of God was surely upon him last night. Thank you, Jesus for protecting him and everyone else. Thank you Honda. Thanks for listening and letting me vent. God bless us, everyone.
  3. 11 points
  4. 10 points
    The Boy Scouts of America national organization is not the Scouting Movement, nor are the local councils. The Scouting Movement is made up of the youth and their volunteer leaders out there in the schools and church basements and hiking trails and canoes and food pantries and local parades. Families join local troops and packs because they are drawn in by the good reports of their friends and neighbors and a yearning to do something meaningful. Scouting existed in America well before the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated. Maybe this is an opportunity to remember that Scouting does not emanate from Irving, Texas, or even from local council offices. Maybe this is an opportunity to remember that the game of Scouting was originally played with hand-me-down military uniforms and hand-crafted equipment, in fields and parks and meeting spaces open to the public, with one simple guidebook for implementing a simple idea. That idea is as valid today as when it was first tested in the early years of the last century, and is needed as much or more now as it was then. And it is not at all dependent upon some corporation's financial woes.
  5. 10 points
    Thankfully I gave a copy to the district with the signatures and my reviewer gave me it no problem. He was such a great guy! After I go to council to get everything scanned the report signed, I’ll be scheduling my EBOR!
  6. 9 points
    To coin a phrase...and try to refrain from saying this to everyone (though you want to) Boy Scouts (11-17 year olds) was NEVER intended in any way shape or form to be a family event or group. If parents feel the need to interpret it that way, they are missing the point. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The aims are character development, leadership development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. The methods are Ideals; Patrols – The patrol method gives Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches Scouts how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives; Outdoor Programs; Advancement; Association with Adults – Scouts learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of their troops. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to the Scouts, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives; and Personal Growth While the family is a critical part of the youth and his identity, the goal of scouting at this age is to have them learn and grow on their own. They lead, they make their own decisions, they become a better person. They work with their peers (and that is good and bad) to do things. Also they are part of the troop and EVERYONE needs to follow the goals and traditions of the troop. If not then YOU have two choices; stay and endure or move on. Based on your input and earlier posts, you are a more patient person that I am. Good luck as you move on, there are many great Scouting experiences out there.
  7. 8 points
    As Mark Twain said "reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." There are something like 2,000,000 youth enrolled in BSA programs today. Over 99,000 units as well . The BSA is far from being on it's last legs and it's demise is not imminent. Out district and others around us have seen growth in the last two years. It's convenient to say "the leadership of the BSA is incompetent." I would argue that if anything, the leadership of the BSA in the past few years has been bold and is showing leadership to build the organization and make it stronger." Yes the BSA is losing the LDS church. It was a misapplication of the Scouting program to align it as the youth program for one faith. The leadership made the bold move to invite girls to join. They are being proactive and trying to set the organization up for the future. My opinion is that the pessimism we see here on the forum has more to do with people who dislike recent choices by the BSA looking for opportunities to be critical of the program. When the founders of Scouting started the program, there were not 2,000,000 members and almost 100,000 units. They believed in the program and built it up. They didn't bemoan the policies of the BSA, they make Scouting in their communities fun.
  8. 8 points
    This could quickly turn into an I&P thread at this rate, but as a health professional, I am going to say that I also believe that the BSA should come out as pro-vaccination. High vaccination rates have kept these things from being an issue for a long time, but that may not be true for long. While I acknowledge that parents currently have a legal right to decide not to vaccinate, that doesn't mean that these families have a right to have their children around mine. Summer camps, winter camps, and all sorts of other BSA activities are high risk for disease transmission of all kinds.
  9. 8 points
    Absolutely. My comment here has some bolding for emphasis and clarity. As a lot of Wood Badgers in my area like to say "Feedback is a gift." I've actually really enjoyed this thread, because it gives me things to look for in my own Councils' NYLT and Wood Badge programs. Obviously not all these critiques apply to every Wood Badger or every Wood Badge program, but it's still great feedback. I obviously can't speak for every Council, but I think mine has a decent handle on some of these things with our Wood Badge and NYLT programs. I definitely do see some of these critiques in my council. To summarize: Lack of humility Being dismissive of non Woodbadgers/NYLT Treating other Wood Badgers poorly. Co-opting other events to do Wood Badge stuff. Frankly the youth don't care. I know I didn't when I was a Scout. Not "Walking the Walk" Hazing of participants. Stealing items, singing for lost items, talking smack about people. Inside jokes in public. -The Critter song, Beading ceremonies are examples of this. Not using the stuff taught in Wood Badge in their units. Any Wood Badge graduate who is not attempting to use the patrol method in their troop should "retire". Being one of those who just sits around at council/district events and act like an authority figure. Sales tactics Overselling/over pushing Wood Badge/NYLT. -Guilt tripping. Being secretive about the course vs transparent. It's a training course, not a secret fraternity. There are two different types of Scouters that dislike Wood Badge I think. Their reasons are similar, but not the same. Type one are the ones on this forum, are the kind that have been treated poorly by Wood Badge folks, and they have a the right ideas on how to run their troops anyways. Wood Badge is already preaching to the choir for them. So it's less about the material and more about the time the program takes, the fact they won't learn much from it, and that the Wood Badge folks in their area aren't good ambassadors for the program. The second type are folks who are out running their own programs, not a Scout troop. They look as Wood Badge as threatening because it'll contradict their own little fiefdoms. These folks are going to be really rare on a forum like this, because they already think they know everything. It's critical not to lump type 1 and type 2 together. Like most things in life, the way to fix the divide between type one people and Wood Badge is for us as Wood Badge folks to listen seriously to their concerns, and do our best to adapt our behavior. Ultimately, Type 1 and Wood Badge folks are on the same side. We have the same goals for the program, so to let a training course get in the way of that is really shortsighted. One of the best Assistant Scoutmaster I had as a youth never went to Wood Badge. He was to put off by the behavior of some of the staff. The best form of advertising of most things is for it to perform. For Wood Badge, that means that we're helpful to other scouters, we run our troops according to the principles we promote, and that we're humble, friendly and encouraging, vs acting like elitists. There's so much more I could probably say on this topic, but I don't want to make this comment even longer and harder to read.
  10. 7 points
    Retired Maryland state trooper Russell Williams suffered a heart attack while Christmas shopping with his daughter. Troop 355 ASM Wes Thatcher responded and started CPR - chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth followed by two shocks from the mall's defibrillator before EMTs arrived. Recovered, Mr. Williams attended a Troop 355 meeting to tell scouts personally the importance of CPR training and thank scouter Wes Thatcher. Video and sources: https://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/miracle-at-the-mall-scoutmaster-meets-heart-attack-victim-he-helped-save https://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/christmas-miracle-boy-scoutmaster-saves-heart-attack-victim-at-white-marsh-mall Scout Salute
  11. 7 points
    I know I am on the outside looking in on this one: This Jew Scouter has sat through so many "Interfaith" ceremonies that are 99% Christian and include divisive proverbs and songs grows tired of explaining to my son about that is their religion and he should learn to just be respectful and not interfere. When we practice our religion we do not get the same respect that we give others, that is just the way it is. Living in the bible belt is an interesting experience for Jews. People here have hard times being respectful to other forms of Christianity, let alone Jews, Muslims, Mormons(Yes I know this is a form of Christianity) ... I compare it to the "White Privilege" movements in many ways. Being outside the norm has it's own challenges. Respect for religion outside that is hard to understand for people in the group. I can't count high enough to the number of prayers at scout events that end with "In Jesus Christ's name we pray"...... Kinda like a big insult to anyone who isn't a believer in Christianity. People could say a prayer to god but nope, they immediately go to the more specific level. So when people get upset about Atheists, than with people that want to for him to be their religion. A relationship with god is a personal one and should be left that way.
  12. 7 points
    What we have here is a great opportunity for BSA to correct a bad branding decision. Who are Scouts BSA? The public doesn't know. It has no history, no identity. You have to explain it, and it goes something like this: "Oh, that is the program for young people age 11 to 18 that used to be called 'Boy Scouts.' It's just a name change for that program. The umbrella organization is still the Boy Scouts of America. The point is, it's really Boy Scouts, just with a new name . . . " Huh? What? You lost me at "program." If you stop calling the program "Boy Scouts," you're giving up more than a century of goodwill and American lore surrounding that program. The girls interested in joining aren't lobbying to join "Scouts BSA." They want the Boy Scout program. The program that is 118 years old. The program with the historic and highly regarded Eagle Scout rank. The one where you help little old ladies across the street and tie knots and go backpacking and climbing and shooting. The demanding program. They want to be "Boy Scouts," because that name -- those two words together -- has an iconic meaning that is separate and independent from the words themselves; and that meaning has nothing to do with gender. Because of what that name really means, girls don't care if they will be called Boy Scouts. They want to be Boy Scouts. If they had any qualms about that name, they'd join Girl Scouts. BSA can and should use this lawsuit as cover for changing its mind and going back to the "Boy Scout" brand for its flagship program. Dan Kurtenbach Fairfax, VA
  13. 7 points
    As a DL for a female den, I try to never use gender terms. My girls are "scouts." If I start to say, "hey girls" I quickly correct myself and call them "scouts." Using gender terms is a crutch I, as an adult leader, need to learn to overcome. No reason for either boys or girls to think of themselves - or to hear others refer them - as anything other than a scout.
  14. 7 points
    I guess they haven't heard, things have changed, and that's that.
  15. 7 points
    Just FYI, on Tuesday evening, I stepped down as Scoutmaster of my son's Troop to become the Scoutmaster of my daughter's Troop. It is a linked Troop (well, it will be on 2/1/19), using the same chartering org and Troop Committee. My wife is the ASM. I will be posting the heck out of this video and the other info on the new BSA branding site on local social media and getting articles in the local papers and school communication portals to recruit. I am also getting a head count from my DE of the Webelos 2 girls in all teh surrounding towns that don't have a planned Scouts BSA program for them to cross into, so we can go talk to them. These girls should have a Troop to cross into, and we're just the people to offer it.
  16. 6 points
    Do we really need to revisit the topic of the highly manipulative surveys that were selectively distributed and strangely worded to ensure a pre-determined outcome? Please don't insult the intelligence of this forum by trying to assert that those bogus survey results were in any way a fair representation of support.
  17. 6 points
    Spot on sir! My triplets and I recently bridged over from Cub Scouts this year, and the former Scoutmaster was grooming me to take over the Troop shortly after he found out I was an Eagle Scout and had 10-years of teaching/applying survival and combat triage skills in the military (*BTW teaching scouts is waaaaay different than teaching soldiers... thank you Wood Badge for pointing that out!). To your point, you are absolutely correct. A lot of the parents tend to "helicopter hover" over their boys and some of the new scout dads don't really know that their sons can't learn to do for themselves if they are not given an opportunity to make mistakes (little life lessons - if you will). "Wow, you're cold and wet because you didn't put the rainfly on correctly? I bet you won't do that again... go grab some wood and make a fire to warm up." "There was a raccoon in your tent last night? Yep, you probably shouldn't have been eating food in your tent and leaving crumbs/trash everywhere." (true story too). As a new Scoutmaster, I've been really emphasizing on the Patrol Method... and I use "esprit de corps" to introduce that little bit of friendly competition between the patrols. Quite honestly, teaching the boys the patrol method and having the troop be "boy run" is the easy part. But... teaching the parents to sit back and watch the boys operate as a cohesive unit... that is definitely much harder to accomplish. Obviously, this is my first year as a Scoutmaster, but I am definitely looking forward to this challenge! Thanks for the post!
  18. 6 points
    I've been re-reading a history book, created over 15 years ago, outlining the rich background of Scouting in my area. In one particular chapter, the author highlights some pretty cool things that took place during the "Improved Scouting" years, despite the changes that the National Council, BSA introduced in 1972. Dedicated Scouters gave countless hours to mentor, guide, and teach countless young people how to navigate the world and society. This is exactly what each of us is still doing today! I think the general malaise I feel from reading some posts on this Forum is due, in large part, to the attitude that things aren't as good as they used to be. Well, no, some things are definitely different. However, some things are just the same and will be for many, many years. The Movement of Scouting will carry on even if the organization of Scouting stumbles from time to time. Our future as a Scouting Movement is as bright as we'll allow it to be. I look at my two-year-old son and see a future Scout just bursting with energy. He's already tramping the woods, picking up pinecones, marveling at the trees, and asking Daddy to help him light fires. He'd even gladly accept a pocketknife if I gave him one. 😉 The other day we stopped into a Scout Shop while traveling so Daddy could pick up some CSPs from the area, and my little one proudly told the Shop staffers "A...be a Scout!" It brought a tear to my eye. I realize controversy invites loads of dialogue and emotions run hot on different sides of the issue at hand. What I yearn for on this forum and in discussions with my fellow Scouters is talk of fires, pocketknives, OA adventures, camping, Merit Badge Counselor success stories, etc. So I challenge each of you to give the Issues and Politics forum a break for ONE DAY and come back to one of the other sub-fora, writing about some successes you've had recently and focusing on the bright future of Scouting.
  19. 6 points
    I was asked to teach a few classes again at our district trainging acadamy but this time the wanted me to add a class that was totally differen to anything they had in the past and would inspire more scouters to take the training. I decided that I would teach my usual Scout Led Troop and Hammocking classes but add a class that details our way of doing our annual planning. After teaching this class I was asked to spread the word on this as it may help other troops that in a camping rut. Some history: The first step was admitting that we camped at the same places, had low turn out and adults didmost of the planning. As a naive first month SM I assumed the scouts knew what they like to do outdoors and and what they wanted to do next year. I asked each scout, got lots of shoulder shrugs and from the older scouts I got "do the same thing as last year" although older scouts didnt camp last year. Solution: Find out what scouts do in our area. I spent about 60+ hours looking at every troop site calendar and photos jotting down every campsite or camping theme,also looked at OA and district lists. I compiled a list down to 50 or so ideas that the scouts could use for planning. I showed the scouts the list but was mostly ignored. It was then I decided to change how we did our planning. I agreed with the CC that we would do a 2 year trial to make camping more fun, get more scouts to attend and give more power to the scouts. FIrst change was to declare that each scout would present at least 1 idea to the troop during our planning campout. I would provide the list of 50 campout ideas that they could choose from but they would have to do work to make the idea into a presentation. Rules - Choose an idea from my list, choose an idea from my list and modify it, bring your own idea. All presentations must have the following: Where will the camp out be - What exact campground and site # if car camping What will we do there? What advancement opportunities are possible What will it cost for this campout? What month(s) of the year should we go? Why is this fun, why do this? The expectation is 2 or 3 slides 5 minutes. The first year we did this the older scouts hated it and fought the process - but the rest of the scouts came up with great ideas, many modifications of the ideas provided and during the presentations there was good discussion of what is fun and what is not between the scouts. We voted as a troop for each month - what outing would be best. The scouts that had their presentation/camping idea chosen won a prize and they would be used to create the agenda for that campout with the PLC when the time came. Sometimes 2 ideas were merged to make it even better Once they vote on a campout its easy for the adults to take what the scouts have already planned and reserve the campsite, cabin or whatever else needed. We usually have everything reserved by the end of the week and distribute the yearly plan to parents. Results: Scouts are happy that they get a say in what is possible, the discussions about what would be fun happen and are long and boisterous, scouts come to me all of the time with new ideas to add to the list. We went from 10% participation to 75% participation camping in the last 3 years. Adults do the back office stuff while scouts became much bigger stakeholders in what they do each month. I hope this helps someone. I know we all do this different and the BSA assumes this is done by the PLC but we needed to make the change to help us survive as a troop.
  20. 6 points
    WIth all due respect I think it would be better if you 2 started another thread. Better yet PM each other, exchange phone numbers and have a personal chat, you'll find you have some things in common.
  21. 6 points
    WORCESTER ,MA – Boy Scout Troop 54, founded in 1915, has the distinction of being one of the oldest continuous troops in the United States. But, it may also hold claim to another remarkable accomplishment. This weekend the troop based out of Epworth United Methodist Church at 64 Salisbury St. is embarking on a campout marking the 120th consecutive month of at least one overnight campout. While camping is somewhat synonymous with scouting, ten consecutive years of monthly campouts is a rare feat. Scoutmaster Joshua Froimson said there are no statistics kept on scouting camping trips. The most that Boy Scouts of America asks is if a troop goes camping at least 10 times a year. For that, a troop receives a Journey to Excellence Gold award. But, he has scoured the internet and has not found any troop in the country that has camped out as often and as long as Troop 54. ... Mr. Froimson said probably one of the key things scouts learn from camping is to plan and lead. “Especially going on a backpacking trip, there’s no opportunity to go to a store and pick up things you forgot. You have to learn to think through everything you will be doing and picture all the things you need to do them,” he explained. “That’s something you need to do in life as well.” More at source link. If there is a Mrs. Froimson, her opinion was not reported. https://www.telegram.com/news/20181129/boy-scout-troop-54-heading-to-connecticut-this-weekend-may-hold-campout-record
  22. 6 points
    Make sure any milestone anniversaries fall at the same time as a High Adventure trip, that's a real crowd pleaser....
  23. 6 points
    You are a mandatory reporter. This crossed the line. If you are unsure whether it crossed the line, you need to report it and let someone else decide. That's the whole idea of mandatory reporter. Also, hesitation to report (for many different reasons) is often the reason previous abuse persisted for so long. You need to submit a report on this.
  24. 6 points
    When I take groups on day hikes or backpacking, if their preparedness is unknown I start with some 'creampuffs' and then progress toward the real deal. I confess that I was greatly heartened a couple of years ago when I overheard one of the hikers on the phone to mom, "Mom, I just got my ass kicked by a 67-year-old heart patient". Right on! They did just fine after that.
  25. 5 points
    Devotedautismadhdmom: I think I finally read your whole nom de forum. I think I understand more and your dedication is to be applauded. To my mind, here is the final tally (I hope I have all the details right) : 1) You are the CCh for your Cub's Pack. 2) You were instrumental in the rebuilding of the Pack from a near abandonment to a well functioning Cub Pack. 3) Some new folks came along, and the male of the couple wants to be a Scout Leader, and because of a lack of CubMaster, assumed that role. 3) He refuses to fill out a proper application as a Scout leader, in that he will not allow a background check or Youth Protection Training, agree to other requirements. He is, therefore NOT a Scout Leader, in name or position. 4) He is argumentative and tries to take over things, regardless of the situation. 5) He will not discuss, only declare. There is a difference, yes? 6) He seems to want the best for his (?) girlfriend's boy, but not necessarily for anyone else's. Have I understood that correctly? 7) You have discussed the situation with the CO's IH and COR. and the District Executive and Commissioner. Is that correct? 8 ) Just about everyone (COR, IH, Parents,) agrees he is the problem, not you. 9) You have heard much sympathy and advice here on Scouter dot com. NOW. . . 10) Letters must be written. Emails must be sent. To the wannabe CM, yes? There must be agreement between and signatures from you, the COR and that is all that is necessary. Copies sent to the Council Scout Executive, the District Executive and... ? The wannabe Cub Master must be told he is NOT the Cub master. YOU must find a REAL one, who is registered, trained, enthusiastic. If the wannabe CM will not abide by the CO's decision, you have more legal things to consider. A no trespass order... For that , you may need a lawyer and the clerk of the court. I wish you well. See you on the trail...
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