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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/11/19 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Barry: My effort is to create a positive, encouraging thread that highlights positive program activities about all-girl troops. Under the rules of this blog it is proper that off-topic postings are removed from a focused thread, and that is what happened here (and not at my request). Nothing aggressive about that. I look for the better side of people, like the overwhelming majority of bloggers here. My scouting bio includes AOL, Eagle, sea Scout QM, camp staff, vigil, unit leader, district Chair, Council President and Area President. Now I am focusing only on being a Scoutmaster. I have a child in our program, as do my three Eagle brothers. i fully support that the BSA is fully welcoming and my personal engagement has shown me that the decision on girls was the right one.
  2. 1 point
    Dear Friends, including Moderators: I agree with those who think we should mainstream discussion of Scouts BSA all-girl troops. Pigeon-holing us into a politics chapter continues a negative cast on a decision that, while not supported by all of our members, is actually working out quite well. We should not have to defend against negativism when what we really want to do is discuss how the program is best working in the new units. Please make the change. I've been the senior volunteer at the Unit, District, Council (major metropolitan) and Area levels, and served on national and council committees for over 30 years. I've formed over 20 units in my time. I "retired" from all of that and am now a Scoutmaster of a 25-member all-girl troop in an urban area with a committee of 15. I thought I had seen it all until we added these all-girl Scouts BSA units. In my opinion this is the best enhancement to our ability to serve young people over the last 20 years. I was on camp staff for a few years in my youth, and the kind of cutting and unrelenting negativism from those who do not appear to be on the front lines of this development sound like a Scoutmaster named Igor we saw during first period each year. He could never be satisfied with anything the camp staff did because "national" and the "council" had "ruined" the Scouting program of his 1940/50's youth. We had - gasp - propane in the patrol kitchens, were shifting to "ugly" tan shirts, and somewhere at some other chartered organization there were now girls doing things in Exploring. Yes, even though he had no obligation to involve himself with a female Explorer Post, the knowledge that a BSA group out there included young women had indeed ruined his experience of operating his all-boy Troop. Folks, there are always changes to our program and there will always be people who claim that those changes have ruined what was better or perfect before. In the 50's it was the - gasp - welcoming of African-American Scouts into Troops. Imagine that -- Scouting "ruined" way back then. These people will always be with us and there is nothing we can do about that. But there is one thing I have learned about this through my years as a Scout and my 30 years as a unit/council/national Scouter. It is the optimists and cheerleaders who make Scouting happen and will always be the future and leaders of our movement. I urge the moderators to begin a program thread on Scouts BSA implementation for girl troops and prohibit political discussions on that thread. Let's get on with helping the 1,800 new Scoutmasters, Troop Committee Chairs and Troop Committees out there. When was the last time we actually had 1,800 new Troops in this movement? Yes, it was back in Igor's youth -- in the 40s and 50s. I believe the good times are returning because now everyone is welcome..
  3. 1 point
    I met an Eagle Scout a few months back. Talked to him for a bit coming out of the hospital. He was 20 years old, about to marry his high school sweet heart and was enrolling in college. He wants to be a biomedical engineer. He lost both legs below the knees and part of his hand in Afghanistan. I assume from IED, he didn't say and I didn't pry. He did say he was an E4 and a squad leader over there. I couldn't imagine telling him he was not ANYTHING enough to be a full fledged Scout leader if he chose. Yet I have met fifty-something year old Scouters I wouldn't let walk my dog let alone depend on them to get my children back home safely from an camp out.
  4. 1 point
    Health forms aren't a permission slip. They aren't just about if you are "fit" or not. Part A is a liability waver. Part B is a voluntary history that provides your unit with the information needed if emergency First Aid is needed or if you are taken to a medical facility and not able to provide a history yourself. I maintain that this could probably be accomplished with a sealed envelope and a "is there anything on here that we need to know about?" That makes things on the scouter/parent not on the unit. Part C is the "Fit or not" part. These are for long term camping and high adventure. They limit the BSA's risk in taking people who shouldn't be in the middle of nowhere for an extended period. It is partially a medical certification of what you state in part B. Here is the thing about privacy. If you want real privacy of your medical information, don't go. Or don't participate with a troop that doesn't handle your information in a way you deem appropriate. You have that choice. HIPAA exists because you sometimes don't have that choice when dealing with medical institutions. You are allowed to keep information from the BSA by not being a member.
  5. 1 point
    There's really two seperate issues here. First - does the BSA even need anything more than a assessment of "fit to participate" or not? Second - if the BSA requires health forms for participation - should troop adults review them? If the BSA is going to require health forms for participation, then unit leaders ought to review them before an event. It's not HIPAA case because the forms are provided voluntarilty and for the purpose of participation in that activity. Really, the whole thing with privacy of health forms has more to do with people seening that that you don't expect should - your employer, you neighbors, etc. But, having the ASM leading a trip knowing that you have a heart condition is appropriate because you provided the form for that purpose.
  6. 1 point
    Ummm... ... Per HIPAA, if BSA was a covered entity, Awanatech reviewing medical forms prior to an activity would be permissible, and your son/daughter telling someone in another patrol about their patrol-member's food allergy would be a sue-able, mandatory-consequences-inducing act. That's what a legislated solution will get you, so be careful what you wish for. More interestingly, what I believe I'm seeing is a greater need for safeguards for units, so that they can protect themselves and their scouts against medical-safety issues induced by paranoid scouters who would rather endanger youth and other unit leaders, than disclose medical information that is important to the unit's safety and ability to operate.
  7. 1 point
    The medical history information is not about whether someone is fit or not. It's about whether the unit is prepared for whatever medical complications the person may bring to the activity with them. If you believe that it's fine for you to come on activities with my unit without informing us that you have a communicable disease that requires extra attention to personal-protective equipment if someone must assist you medically, while you are allergic to things that we need to know in advance for planning or for maintaining your safety during the activity, or any number of other medical issues that impact whether we can conduct a safe activity for everybody including you, then I'll invite you to not participate. The medical information forms are for information that we need to know. If we don't need to know it, because it can't affect your care, or our safety we don't need to know it. If it can affect your care, or our safety, then because we will be the ones administering first aid, we need to know it, and a doctor's permission slip is not adequate.
  8. 1 point
    I certainly try to be! I've made no assumption that Awanatech is a qualified medical professional. HIPAA contains no requirement that only qualified medical professionals have access to a person's medical data. That's simply not what the law is about, what it does, or how it works. Now, what HIPAA would do, is make it a finable offense subject to mandatory reporting to the federal government and a defined punishment and sanction program, if your child told a member of another patrol, that a member of his or her own patrol had a food allergy. It's not clear to me how a "qualified/not-qualified" checkbox provides the information necessary for a unit to make well-informed decisions about how to deal with a person's medical status in the context of an activity, unless you're proposing that BSA bar anyone from participating in any activity unless a Dr. is willing to certify that there is no possibility that any medical conditions that person may suffer, will have zero effect on the activity. People will encounter situations during activities where their medical conditions have bearing on their treatment. That shouldn't bar them from the activity, but it would be exceptionally un-scout-like to insist that the unit should suffer the burden of trying to assist them in the absence of information that would be helpful in improving their care. I certainly don't have a good answer to the problem, HIPAA certainly isn't it.
  9. 1 point
    Ok then, let's resume the OP discussion. Thanks RS
  10. 1 point
    And now we can return to the OP topic....
  11. 1 point
    Dear SSF: This thread is focused on examples of positive activities and outcomes of girl troops. There are plenty of other threads where you can engage in advocacy against girl troops. Because you have decided to leave the BSA, I wish you good luck in finding different civic activities and organizations better calculated to your preferences.
  12. 1 point
    We conducted a parent meeting yesterday for our girl troop regarding going to our council summer camp. I needed to spend time explaining the basics because girl parents are used to the standard “sleep away” and GSUSA camps that operate differently. They were thrilled with the focus on skills acquisition and merit badge advancement. And, the concept of the entire troop attending together was fresh to them, as they were used to sending their girls as individuals to camp. Our council has done a great job by including girls in the camp promotional materials. We have just begun our sign-ups and have 8 of 25 members after just a week.
  13. 1 point
    Whether the committee is a big single committee using the linked format or effectively separate, the object is the same — to manage the incoming number of Scouts caused by this enhanced program. The program is identical, but the implementation has some differences. One thing we are experiencing is a greater tendency for girls to bring in their “best friends” into the troop. Girls are also crazy-proud of their uniforms beyond what I have experienced in Boy troops. We are making sure to emphasize those things. I just would not get hung up on the structure behind the troop operation. Here is a nice program we will do. In June we are going to have a big family campout for our girls and their families at our council camp. We will have a Court of Honor for achievements since Feb. 1. I expect several tenderfoot awards — and this is simply natural interest on the part of the girls. They are going to have a massive cookout on Saturday night they will prepare for the parents. Another surprising result is that we are getting a number of 14-year-olds expressing interest in joining what their younger sisters and friends have already joined. We have decided for now to place them into our three existing patrols, but we will probably need an older girl patrol this fall. We are going to adopt the urban neighborhood around our church CO, and The City will erect signs with our troop name and CO. We will do some spring cleaning in the neighborhood in uniform to let people know we are here. Showing service to our CO and City will set the right tone.
  14. 1 point
    That is much harder than it sounds and requires dedicated adults. Even harder are two dedicated CCs and SMs. Don’t just ask for volunteers, seek out talented adults and personally recruit them. Barry
  15. 1 point
    I up voted your post because I agree with almost all of it. The one point I disagree with is a new forum or section. Both G-Troops and B-Troops issues can and should be covered in the existing framework, because it is all Scouts BSA. Will there be issues unique to girls or caused by the presence of girls? Certainly, but in the scope of scouting, I think they are minor and can be handled in the current structure, just like we are doing in the real world away from this site. Other than that, bravo. There will always be curmudgeons that don't like change, regardless of the change. I cannot say I have approved of all of the changes, but I still love and support this program and will move forward to do what I have always done, which is to help develop youth. We can hope others follow our example.
  16. 1 point
    As per December 4, 2018 Moderator Policy in Forum Support & Announcements An Original Poster (OP) can state in that first post "Only on-topic responses, please." Off-topic responses will then be moved or deleted by moderators.  Consider so stated. Any member could have done this. If we mods miss an off-topic response, use Report Post function in upper right corner of post to bring to our attention. Only on-topic responses, please in this thread. RS @MattR , @desertrat77 , @John-in-KC , @NJCubScouter
  17. 1 point
    I am getting ready to pass out Scout rank pins and cards tomorrow during our regular Saturday meeting. 13 of our 25 girls have earned them, and I expect the balance to so so in a week or two. We might have some Tenderfoot ranks to award before our COH in early June. Our Scouts BSA girl members are taking to the program as-is, and having a lot of fun along the way. We are having so many sign-offs from our 6 ASMs that I needed to have help to get the Scoutmaster conferences done. There will be a lot of happy girls around DC tomorrow. On the issue of tents, we have decided to go with 2-person tents for our group to better-manage the YPT issues. We are borrowing tents for the moment from a very helpful all-boy troop, so we will not actually buy our tents until we camp in Shenandoah National Park this September. Things are indeed going very well.
  18. 1 point
    The horsemanship merit badge idea is really a great example of something that will particularly appeal to girl troops. Some council camps have horse programs. We are going to arrange a special week of horse activities at a council camp, and expect it will be quite popular.
  19. 1 point
    19 of our girls spent this weekend doing the Horsemanship merit badge at a local stable. This was our very first outing, and a huge success! The girls did a great job, considering that they're all Scout rank. It's definitely a unique challenge not to have more experienced scouts to pass along scouting skills and such. They had a lot of fun and are starting to gel as a Troop and as patrols. So excited to be a part of this.
  20. 1 point
    This is our nearest troop. Our Venture Crew (all girl) shares a CO and meeting location, so on the one night a month the crew meets and the scouts are there, we tend to peek our heads in and see what's up. The troop is continuing to have girls sign up, with a reported two additional in March. I think they're over 20 now, but would have to double-check on that. In any case, they sure put 100% effort into the Klondike, with a few of the older scouts training ahead of time, even though the charter wasn't official yet. https://rennamedia.com/new-bsa-troop-280-places-high-in-regional-race/
  21. 1 point
    Not really a scouting story but one doing the rounds here that I thought you chaps might be interested in is the Mi Amigo 75th aniversary fly past today over Sheffield and Cambridge this morning. For those who have never heard the story Mi Amigo was a US bomber in the Second World War based in the UK that crashed on its return from a mission over Europe in 1944. The story of what happened though is quite moving. Unable to make it back to its base due to damage it had to make a crash landing. Initially to avoid crashing into local houses in Sheffield the crew attempted to land in a public park. As they approached they spotted a group of young boys playing (or fighting! depending which version you read) and veared away at the last minute, crashing in local woodland. All on board were killed. One of those boys, Tony Foulds, has tended to the memorial to the crew ever since and following a chance encounter with a BBC journalist was able to get a memorial fly past by USAF and RAF organised. Most publicly it went over the site in Sheffield but later this morning I was able to see it from my house passing over the US military cemetery at Maddingley on the edge of Cambridge where some of the crew are burried, which is about 3 miles from me as the crew flies. Full story here. Quite a moving story.
  22. 0 points
    First class mail is now 55 cents. I know this because I reminded my wife to stock up on Forever stamps before the rate hike went into effect. The Post Office dutifully held her "Stamps By Mail" order form for about 2 weeks before processing the order...at the new higher rate.
  23. -1 points
    Cburkhardt, since you are using a passive-aggression to promote your opinion of the new scouting program, tell us more about yourself. Your past scouting experiences and your future experience goals. Are you a father, mother, grandparent? Barry
  24. -1 points
    I see that this message board continues to live in a bubble of 'we think.' Only the views of the elites are allowed and anyone who disagrees is silenced. So much for the freedom to disagree on what is supposed to be an open forum. Cburkhardt I hope that your efforts to feminize the BSA fail, but as I said in my post that was removed, this war has already been lost. The real BSA is dead. Congratulations to you on your victory in contributing to that.
  25. -1 points
    You are clearly troubled by any criticism against girls in the BSA. I'm not sure why you keep responding, and with the same copied and pasted response no less. In my original post that got removed, I called out the absurdity that was highlighted in the shameful and biased, "Girl Power" 'reporting' from the article that cocomax shared. If you put something out there that others find objectionable, then someone is likely to let you know that. And, just for the record, this is not a blog. It's a forum. That's why it's called "Scouter Forum."