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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/01/19 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    It’s almost official! My EBOR went fantastic, the scouter from the district was amazing. We talked for almost 2 hours about all different kinds of stuff and it was great! Thanks to everyone who answered my questions on here. My scouting journey has only just started. Now the final thing to do is to drop off the application at council to get sent to national.
  2. 2 points
    The BSA just rolled out several new NOVA awards for Cubs, Scouts BSA, and Venturer/Sea Scouts. The new STEM awards focus on long-obvious gaps in the STEM disciplines of computer science and biological sciences. Computer science awards (TECHNOLOGY) include: Cub Scouts: Cub Scouts Can Code Scouts BSA: Hello World Venturers: Execute Biological science awards (SCIENCE) include: Scouts BSA: Mendels Minions (Genetics) Venturers: What a Life NOVA Counselors, Supernova Mentors, and Unit leaders and parents who want to explore BSA's STEM award programs can find requirements for the new awards here: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/awards/
  3. 2 points
    My favorite items collected throughout my youth Scouting career are badges. I have plaques, certificates, various miscellaneous items, but the things that mean the most to me are the badges; rank, event patches, awards, mile swim, etc. Even the cub stuff, there isn't as much in that part of my collection, but the badges still mean the most. This sounds terrible, but the plaques are almost an annoyance. I appreciate being given them, where they came from, that people took the time to purchase or make them, etc. But they're these bulky items, and as big as some of them are, the little badges still hold the most meaning for me. My point is that I think the AoL badge will likely always mean the most to a scout. That's not to say "don't do a gift", just that the emphasis on a gift to mark the occasion might be overlooking the fact that the badge itself can (and should) be the most significant marker of that accomplishment and occasion for the scout receiving it.
  4. 2 points
    The Chartered Organization agrees to: • Use Scouting to further the Chartered Organization’s aims and values for youth. • Chartered organizations must utilize the Scouting program to accomplish specific objectives related to one or more of the following: o Youth character development o Career skill development o Community service o Patriotism and military and veteran recognition o Faith-based youth ministry • Chartered organizations must not use the Scouting program to pursue any objectives related to political or social advocacy, including partisan politics, support or opposition to government action or controversial legal, political, or social issues or causes. The above comes from the annual CO agreement. I would argue if the BSA wanted to stop church COs from proselytizing it would be documented here. In fact, the BSA specifically mentions youth ministry as a specific objective.
  5. 1 point
    Scouts working on their "Communication" merit badge need to lead one of 3 types of troop events: a Court of Honor, a Campfire, or a "Scouts Own" Interfaith Worship. Over the years, I've noticed that the boys view being the Court of Honor MC as the most prestigious of the three, leading a Campfire as the most fun, and that leaves "Scouts Own" Interfaith services as the event that is least often done (but by extension, is the most available to any scout who wants to knock out the requirement because most of the other boys won't be fighting over the role -- view that option as an opportunity if you want to earn the badge quickly). That's really too bad because I think Duty to God is one of the most important values in scouting and because I think it can be challenging and fun to put together an interfaith worship service. I've accumulated quite a few pointers, tips, and rubrics for putting these events together and I've sat through quite a few on campouts and training events. Some are absolutely sublime! And of course, some are....errrr....not quite as sublime. I've been thinking about what makes an interfaith worship event work (or not work), and I've come up with six pointers that I'll call "Best Practices" (though, I'm sure somebody will come up with a couple more that I should have thought of, or maybe has a better idea than one of my tips --- after all, only God is perfect.) I start off by focusing on the two absolutely essential core attributes of a good interfaith worship. GOALS: Reverence to God Respect for all attendees I hope these are understood by everyone. I hope everyone agrees that these two goals are obvious and are correct. In my opinion, Reverence to God means that the interfaith activity focuses solely on spirituality and the concepts of God and reverence that are widely understood and embraced by most (if not all) major religions. I don't like being cheated or conned in any aspect of life, and when it comes to worship, I will feel cheated if somebody abuses my faith in God to sell me products, deliver political diatribes, or misuse the service as a venue for patriotic songs or slogans. All of these may have a legitimate place in our society, but that place is not at a respectful celebration of God and his works. Most scouting units accept members from a variety of different faiths and beliefs. The interfaith service should welcome all and promote fruitful reflection by all participants. Nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable or inferior. I've looked at a lot of the resources, templates, and programs from past interfaith events, and few seem to fully embrace both goals as well as they could. Most could be improved by adopting one or more of the following six "best practices" that I think can help scouts and scouters alike to enjoy more respectful and reverent interfaith worship services. SIX "BEST" PRACTICE RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Focus on Common Values There are differences between the world's major religions. But there are also commonalities shared between most (or all) of the religions. Avoid the differences and promote the commonalities and you're more likely to have a service that invites no controversy, dissent, or bad feelings. Common values include: Peace, Love, Compassion, Equality, Honesty, Justice, Life, Optimism, and Respect. 2. Focus on Spirituality God is the focus of the service. Anything you put in the program that distracts from God's wisdom and values is inappropriate. Several scouts use patriotic songs like "America the Beautiful" or "God Bless America" in their services. These songs are not about God or his will. Think about it: God created all of humanity, so men of every nation on Earth are his children. Why would God appreicate your telling people to ignore his goals of equality and justice to favor only people born in or dwelling in one small piece of arbitrarily defined geography? I don't think that's a very reverent thing to do and I find it offensive when scouts do it because people should put God before country (and every other "false God"). 3. Respect All Religions Although most scouting families in BSA are of one Christian faith or other, many are not. God treats all his children as equals, so we must respect our brothers and sisters. Many scouts do an excellent job of choosing their readings or songs wisely, avoiding teachings or philosophies that are sectarian. Some scouts could do better. One thing I would avoid are any scripture readings that are not of a universal nature (Christian faiths can avoid those from the New Testament, especially the ones that specifically talk about "Jesus" or "Christ" since these obviously are of Christian interest, but may be most likely to not align with non-Christian faiths). Similarly, other faiths may want to avoid references to their particular saviours or prophets, including perhaps, Buddha, Allah, Confucious or others, to name but a few). 4. Stay True to Scouting Values Scouting values are religiously neutral, but all of them align with the "Common Values" I mentioned in point 1 of this list. We have a Scout Oath, a Scout Law, and an Outdoor Code. We learn these as Webelo Scouts and as we work on our Scout rank, and we repeat them hundreds of times through our scouting careers. These values mean something. They are good things to work into our interfaith services. Many scouts have found ways to interpret the Scout Law in light of spiritual teachings. Many religions today embrace conservation and the environment as core values of their faith. For example, Pope Francis wrote a long book called Laudato Si, in which he explains how respect for life means we respect our planet's life support systems, and when you damage our Earth, you commit an offense against humanity, life itself, and God. Yeah, I know: the Pope can't speak for non-Christians. Nonetheless, other faiths have come to a similar realization that conservation is not just a matter of life and death, it's also a matter of faith, so this is evidently now more of a "common value". If you're conducting an interfaith service in an outdoor environment, why not find a song that celebrates the natural world God created for us....or find or create a benediction that puts Earth's life support system in our thoughts and prayers. (I've included a few pointers to useful resources at the end of this post). 5. Make It Fun An interfaith service should be enjoyable. Not boring. Limit the time to help scouts stay focused on spirituality (if you're going more than 15-20 minutes, you're boring the scouts). Have a couple songs. Do a reading. Invite a few other scouts to speak. These things will keep scouts focused. 6. Use Common Sense There are points I make here that won't apply to every worship service in every unit. In our local troop, scouts of all faiths are welcome. There is a troop nearby that is part of an LDS church --- all their scouts are members of their own faith. That troop should ignore my recommendations about readings, terminology, etc and feel free to celebrate the way their customs dictate. After all, if nobody's sensibilities would be offended by talking about Jesus' teachings, then have at it! Similarly, I know of Muslim troops and Jewish troops chartered by their own religious organizations. Of course they should celebrate the way they see fit....I'm sure it will please God and respect all in attendance. RESOURCES: Interfaith Worship Service Planning Worksheet https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/worksheet08182008.pdf Big Book of Scout Worship Services http://scoutsown.sdicbsa.org/Website we4-49-09_files/ScoutsOwnWorksheet.pdf Environment and Sustainability Prayers https://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/sustainability-prayers MacScouter's Big "A Scout is Reverent" Resource Book http://www.macscouter.com/ScoutsOwn/docs/BBRevrnt.pdf
  6. 1 point
    Yeah, some of these examples seem larger and bulkier than what I received for my eagle rank.
  7. 1 point
    Have a Boy Scout that joined due to influence of friends, basically to do High Adventure, and he was 15 and about 9 months at the time. Really good youth. He did go to Seabase with a crew, not the one he wanted to , but another we sent. That summer he went to camp, did the new Scout program. While there we talked and I asked what he wanted to get out of Scouting. He advised have fun, go camping, maybe earn Life rank. We looked at the dates and advised he could actually get Eagle, if he committed to the journey through Scouting. He ended up going to our Second summer camp and served as a JASM for the week. Managed to earn some fun merit badges and some Eagle required. Then he did High Adventure this past summer, and went to the second summer camp again as a JASM. Good leadership and a great asset. Now he has completed his 21 merit badges and is beginning work on his Eagle project. Great example to other Boy Scouts in the troop.
  8. 1 point
    It can be years later, or close in... A story from a friend of mine: We had been "the" staffers for our CSDC. The theme was the Lewis and Clark Expedition. My buddy and I were not necessarily L & C, but members of the expedition. He (call him Ted) represented himself as a French Canadian Voyageur, with the cartoon accent : "haugh, haugh , haugh we mus' get zee canoos reddeee, nec's pas? Mon aimee, augh, augh augh.... " and like that... At the Scout Skills Pavilion, the same: "haugh, haugh, haugh , zee rrrope, he go throo zee loop lik a zees, an' lik a zees... augh, augh , augh, an' voila ! " Ted comes to me a year (!) later, and relates the following: He and family had been shopping in the local Safeway when a young boy runs up to him, points his finger at Ted, yells "HAUGH, HAUGH, HAUGH !!" and runs off. Yes, we do make an impression.
  9. 1 point
    I honestly didn’t even think of that, I will do that tonight. Thank you!
  10. 1 point
    @Devotedautismadhdmom I'm sorry that you have had to endure what seems to have been a very stressful situation for you, and indirectly for your son, who I'm sure has picked up on how difficult this has been on you. I'm really astonished by this situation...a guy with an alleged drug possession charge appoints himself Cubmaster of a Pack despite complete opposition from the COR and yourself as CC...then council supposedly approves him as a registered leader and you and the COR feel that you are completely powerless to remove him, despite the fact that you and the COR both have all of the power and authority that you need to remove him. I do get the sense that you and the COR are both somewhat intimidated about confronting this new self-appointed Cubmaster and because of that you keep looking to council to remove him for you. As others have said, it's the charter org that determines who will serve as registered leaders; council just conducts the background checks and approves or denies the application at the national level. I don't mean to sound harsh, but f you and the COR lack the assertiveness to make it clear to this new Cubmaster that he has no place in your unit, then perhaps you and she aren't well suited for those particular roles... Granted, ideally in a perfect world, units would not have to deal with these types of situations, but obviously there are unpleasant issues that come up in leading a unit, and when they do, unit leader have to be ready to address them. Again, I'm sorry that you and your son have had to go through this. Finding a new unit may be the best option at this point, or if some other leader or parent in your unit may be willing to act on your and the COR's behalf and make it clear to the new Cubmaster that's he not wanted, then that would solve the problem.
  11. 1 point
    i think you're observation would be a very common one. Again - the BSA system is pretty clear here. The Chartered Organization runs the Scout program for it's units. It's precisely why the LDS church could use the Scouting program as their youth program. If they wanted to proselytize, they could. Very few, if any, units would really try to use the Scouting program to convert kids to their faith. it would take about one meeting for word to get out and everyone who disagreed to leave. But again, technically, the unit could do that if they wanted to. I don't think using the Scouting program to convert people is a winning strategy for a unit. But I do think it's unfortunate that many COs/units have an arm length's relationship. When Scouting units are more integrated into the CO, the CO takes a bigger interest in the Scouting unit. Our pack have about 70 Cub Scouts. We might have 5 from the CO. Yet, the CO has a lot of kids. It really seems like there could be a much stronger bond there.
  12. 1 point
    Boot fit. My first RoundTable , I had a podiatrist talk to us about blister prevention, boot and sock choice. Boots are to tried on, NOT bought thru ebay.., toes can wriggle, heels are snug. lace snug across the instep, not tight across the toe. Do not be shy about changing the lacing pattern, or experimenting with other things. Be aware and sensitive to hot spots, particular "feelings" . As you hike, your feet will want to spread out, can they? Women should be aware that the shoe they wear to the office is NOT the size boot they should use. Try on a size bigger. Wool socks, with or without liners. My buddy and I hiked the Camino de Santiago, 500plus kilometers, I had 100% ragg wool socks, he used a wool blend and silk liners. I had NO blisters at all, he had none until the last 50 KM, and then developed a small one on his left big toe, which he attributed to a leather layer in his "old " boot that had come loose.
  13. 1 point
    Congratulations! BTW, photocopy your paperwork before you submit it. You don't want to collect all those signatures again. This is your last lesson in Be Prepared.
  14. 1 point
    The Transatlantic Council 75th Anniversary D-Day event (Normandy Camporee) will take place in April 12-14, rather than June 6th, due to the large number of scouts expected (about 5,000). The closing ceremony will be held at the American Cemetery at Colleville sur Mer, where Scouts will present a commemorative wreath. https://scoutingevent.com/802-NormandyCamporee2019
  15. 1 point
    You've heard me say it many times; the best thing scouts can learn from adults is humility. Otherwise, I just soon the adults stay 100 yards away. But, the Scouting program reputation alone can change an adult's attitude. Stopping at a New Mexico convenience store for gas and junk-food while on our way to Philmont, our scouts presence in the small store was almost overwhelming. I was a little nervous at first when a robust female truck driver called some of the scouts over to her. She, in her cigarette ting voice, apologized for wearing a sexually offensive t-shirt. This seasoned truck driver admitted to being very embarrassed in the presence of Boy Scouts. Maybe there should be a "Scout" Association Method. At the very least, plus one for the Uniform Method. Barry
  16. 1 point
    That sounds like a good approach. The point isn't to have a car built to precision specs, it's to develop some pride in workmanship and to build a stronger relationship with a parent by working together. How good the car looks or how fast it runs is secondary to the experience of making something yourself. When my son was a Cub, the pack had a rule that whoever won the race --- that parent would be the PWD chair next year. It was a good rule.
  17. 1 point
    Follow-up: Assembly was this last weekend. My son went through Ordeal and did great IMHO. The old SM was there but didn't interact with him at all so that was perfect. Best thing of all, my son came home super jazzed about OA and Scouting. So it was a great outcome.
  18. 1 point
    Two of my Eagles are my favorite success story. Dad left when they were young. Mom serving time in jail. Grandmother was raising them by herself. Living in a rough neighborhood, going to a school that had lots of drugs, gangs, etc. Grandmother had enough and got them involved in Scouting to keep them out of trouble. One took to Scouting like a duck to water. He worked camp, did OA, got Eagle, etc. He was the driving force to get a Venturing for the older Scouts who were getting bored and antsy. Long story short, he stayed active until he enlisted, and several of his friends stayed as active as can be with school and/or naval service. Once out of the military, he eventually started his own business, which he at some point he sold. He married his HS sweetheart, has three kids and is involved with his son in Scouting. Brother was a bit of a trouble maker. Always causing problems. Something happened one summer, and he did a complete 180 degree turnaround. Instead of being the trouble maker, he became a leader. he worked camp, did OA, and Eagled. he was active until he went to college, and did some things as he could. he also served, married his HS sweetheart, and is doing well. They had rough times, they had challenges. But Scouting helped them overcome.
  19. 0 points
    My COR sent a letter to the council head stating we Did not want this person registered in our unit, and giving reasons, with his violations. I had previously spoke with him and this is what he stated we needed to do. Once he received the email from her, he called her and said they will still run his background check. 2 days later, my DE called me and said Hey! Great news! He is approved, everything came back ok. That I need to come in and pay for his charter. Also, in the same conversation, I have a leader that transferred in, that has been unable to access his account to get his YPT done. We've been trying and working with the local office since Dec. The DE is the one that snooped on the desk and sent his app in, which we were waiting because we knew there was a problem with his account. So now, he told me that my COR will need to email our registrar and have him removed. Once he can get his YPT done we can add him in. So, in short, the DE says I can drop the person, that we have accepted, but NOT the one we have said we do NOT want, who I also reported YPT violations on. I did our recharter in Dec! The registrar says effective Friday, we will not be in effect anymore, unless she receives payment for the 1 person we did NOT have on our Charter and paperwork. (DE sent in separate ) Therefore, as this man has continued to threaten me, I will be giving the COR a resignation letter and withdraw for myself and my son tomorrow night. I can not sign my name to a unit or person that has already violated YPT. Thank you for the concern and follow-up.