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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/08/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    "Ambient temperature" as a friend reminded me when I reported that night #1 at Jambo was pocked with multicultural screams of souls subjecting their hides to such water for the first time. Such is life when you've been assigned a site adjacent a shower house.
  2. 2 points
    Lawyers are officers of the court, with professional standards, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, local court rules, and civility standards. Compliance with those rules are part of their professional obligation. The judge found their conduct crossed the line and is hitting them hard for it. Beyond that, the lawyers apparently forgot who their clients are and what their clients stand for, risking reputational damage to their clients from their misconduct. That was dumb, not aggressive representation.
  3. 2 points
    First thing: Wood Badge can be well worth your while because it will teach you the same material they learned at NYLT. I found Wood Badge helpful and I'd already been to NYLT. Otherwise: I like Eagledads advice. Ask them what they learned and want to try in the Troop. NYLT talks a fair amount about creating visions for yourself and your team and creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time set) goals to accomplish that. If they are SPL or ASPL's ask them what their vision is for the troop, what goals they want to set, and as they go along, help them refine their goals and objectives. If they are Patrol leaders, same thing applies, just at the patrol level. If you are a Scoutmaster, you need to create your own vision for the Troop. You can find some sample ones to help you brainstorm by Googling "Scoutmaster Vision Statement." To summarize NYLT as best I can: Each Scout is divided into a patrol of relative strangers. They will each take turns being a patrol leader while the Staff will model all the of the Troop level positions. They'll do by-the-book flag ceremonies, troop meetings and PLC's. Throughout the day they'll attend presentations on leadership skills, communication, values ethics, servant leadership and more. Between and sometimes as part of those presentations they'll play games or complete patrol challenges that force them to grow as a patrol and lead one another. NYLT is not a silver bullet however; Last December I "retired" from my Troop. New Scoutmaster took over in May. I had helped get him up to speed and was pivoting to focus on graduate school. Things have been shaky since because we've done a terrible job recruiting new ASMs for about 4- 5 years and I didn't do nearly as useful a job preparing the new Scoutmaster as I thought I had. Folks have been approaching me and complaining about the state of things, so I've dragged myself back off the bench. The Scoutmaster needs others to handle logistics, communications and other things so he can really focus on the SPL and the PLC. Hopefully the Scoutmaster, CC and I can build and train up that team, so in a year or so I can "retire from the Troop" for good. Last weeks Troop meeting, I was substitute Scoutmaster while the SM was on vacation, I chatted with the SPL and ASPLs. Each had been to NYLT and each had staffed NYLT. I asked two questions. "What problems have you noticed?" and "What changes do you want to see to the troop?" I was encouraged when one pulled out his phone and said "I have a list." They have all these great ideas and goals, but need some help getting from where we are now to where they want to go. Sometimes all they need is encouragement and "If you get stuck come find me." Sometimes they need some direct guidance. The way I try to describe it, my job as a Scoutmaster/ASM is to help the Scouts create a structure. Right now, my troop's youth have a leadership structure of POR's, but no communication structure or practical structure for how tasks get done. When they figure that out, their execution skills thanks to NYLT will be great. My NYLT staff always amaze me at how fast they figure things out, but the SPL's a typically copying the structure they've seen before, and it's a good one. In my Troop, the structure has grown and decayed over the years. I tell that cautionary tale from my Troop not to discourage you from sending your Scouts to NYLT, but to stress that it's not a silver bullet to make your troop. NYLT Scouts still need a structure to operate in and some guidance from the SM and ASM's. When they have it, they'll be exceptional if you let them.
  4. 1 point
    There is no formal order of precedence of square knot awards, but mine are starting to accrue in an unattractive way. It got me thinking about how to sort and rank them for the purpose of shaving them down to the ones I would consider most important. 6 look good. 9 looks OK. 12 is starting to get questionable and past that the shirt starts getting stiff and uncomfortable. That being said, I completely support everyone making their own decisions about what to wear and in what order, but I am curious what everyone thinks of my system of determining order of precedence and what to wear. I also completely agree with wearing the awards most important to your role at the time, but this was made with the idea of what a hypothetical superscouter with every award and only one uniform would wear. Basically, I laid out a process for sorting through my thoughts on what categories are more important than others. The general principals are sorting by the values the display communicates, the ordering of higher honor awards over more common awards, and the ordering general awards of similar honor over specific awards. A consideration that flows from this ordering is that awards that are a lower level or localized form of a higher award should be superseded by the higher award if more space is required. If space is needed for a Silver Beaver, the District Award of Merit should be replaced rather than worn alongside it, replacing another award that adds more information to the story being told. The end result should be to tell a scouting story in as few pictures as possible. That being said, here's my attempt to come up with a rational order that works for me. Capstone youth awards (only 1 or 2, based on which program participating in at the time) (The BSA is a program for youth development. We should always keep that at the forefront. For that reason, the capstone youth awards should be our most important. I do not follow that all youth awards should retain this high precedence though, only those awards that are the capstones of the programs) Eagle Scout Quartermaster Award Silver Award Arrow of Light Meritorious Action Awards (wear highest one) (they're rare, they usually have a great story about scout skills in action, and they have a really shiny medal.) Honor Medal Heroism Award Medal of Merit Nomination Awards of the BSA for General Service (wear highest one) (Awards given from the admiration of one's peers is a higher honor than an award given for completing a checklist. Awards for one's service to scouting in general should come before awards for service to subsets of scouting.) Silver Buffalo Silver Antelope Silver Beaver District Award of Merit Unit Leader Award of Merit Nomination Awards of the BSA for Special Service (this is where it starts getting really personal in building the story in as few pictures as possible) Hornaday Gold Medal OA Distinguished Service Award Scouting Service Awards Spurgeon Award Hornaday Gold Badge Venturing Leadership Award Nomination Awards of Other Organizations (not even trying to rank these as there's too much variation between outside organizations to even guess how difficult it is to be awarded. Almost every LDS scouter has their Adult Religious Award whereas other ones are relatively rare. I would move these higher in precedence in the event your POR is involves the awarding entity) Adult Religious Award Community Organization Award George Meany Award Training or Punchlist Awards (Some of these are expensive and difficult to do, others are almost harder to do your POR faithfully and not complete the requirements. The ranking is purely subjective based on my perception of their difficulty.) Distinguished Commissioner Service Award Other Hornaday Awards Philmont Training Center Masters Track Award International Scouter's Award Boyce New Unit Organizer Award Alumni Award Doctorate of Commissioner Science Award Commissioner Award of Excellence in Unit Service Scouter's Key Scouter's Training Award James E. West Fellowship Award (if you are rich maybe a year as a den leader sounds harder than $1000, but I'd gladly be a den leader for $1000.) Cub Scout Den Leader Award Youth Religious Emblems Other (I have no idea how to treat these at all. This isn't putting them at the bottom. I just have no idea.) Silver World Award Professional Circle Award As an example, our hypothetical superscouter that had been presented with all the awards and is now the Scoutmaster of Troop 1 would wear, in order of precedence,: Row 1 1. Eagle Scout 2. Honor Medal 3. Silver Buffalo (stop here if you like the chic look) Row 2 4. Any awards of the Charter Organization (Community Organization or Adult Religious) 5. Hornaday knot representing gold medal 6. OA Distinguished Service Award (keep going if you dare) Row 3 7. Scouting Service Award 8. Spurgeon Award 9. Venturing Leadership Award (stop... Ok, we can keep going for 1 more row, but only 1 more row) Row 4 10. Community Organization or Adult Religious award if not awarded by Charter Org. 11. George Meany Award 12. Distinguished Commissioner Service Award (no, don't please don't make me) Row 5 13. Philmont Training Center Masters Track Award 14. International Scouter's Award 15. Boyce New Unit Organizer Award (seriously, there isn't even any shirt left. What are you going to do, go down the back?) Row 6 16. Alumni Award 17. Doctorate of Commissioner Science Award 18. Commissioner Award of Excellence in Unit Service (At this point, the square knots become self aware and take control of the shirt.) So, what do you think? How would you suggest shaving our hypothetical superscouter down balancing the aesthetics of an orderly display with the information conveyed? Thankfully, I do not have this problem to such a severe degree, but it was kind of a fun thought experiment of the goals of displaying the square knots.
  5. 1 point
    Our troop had a crew return from a backpacking trek with MOHAB. The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch is a truly beautiful base camp with the best view of any high adventure base and the staff was all super friendly. Our guides, Stephen and Conner, were awesome with the scouts from the minute we walked in the door through training as well as along our trek and all the way to getting up at 6am to have breakfast with us before we headed home. Having completed a Philmont trek I though I was prepared for the hikes but some of these climbs were kicked my butt but every view was well worth it. The guides gave us an entry point and we hiked back to the basecamp but everything in between was planned by the scouts. The highlight for me was an extra two mile hike to spend the night a century old trappers cabin to top off an 18 mile day. The view sitting outside the cabin with a grass field in front of us leading up the mountains while cattle mooed away in the back ground as the sun went down was million dollar view that Hollywood would have a hard time capturing. The discussion on the ride home (when the scouts weren't sleeping) wasn't if we are coming back to try packrafting but if we are going for one or two weeks. To any troops looking at a High Adventure base, MOHAB definitely deserves to be on your list. This camp sitting on the edge of the Bob Marshall is a remarkable place the fact they don't more scouts visiting is a shame.
  6. 1 point
    We started working with a PLC meeting one hour before the Troop meeting for a few reasons. First, even companies would struggle updating action items every four weeks. One small meeting each week is a lot easier for young adults than one long meeting once a month. Action items are just easier to process and report every week. Second, the scouts practice the discipline of doing the the process of meetings efficiently. The SPL gets very good at making agendas and getting through meetings efficiently. The PLs learn the process simply by attending. I found myself bored to death with Troop Committee meetings because the members drove what should take 15 minutes to two hours. And finally, I found by accident that they PLC bonds faster and functions better as a team when they meet each week. The PLC only took 3 months to trim that 1 hour meeting into 30 minutes, and really only needed 20 minutes. The scouts much preferred those additional 30 minutes once a week to the 3 hours once a month. One other thing that came from those early meetings is turning the 30 minutes before meeting as a time for scouts to meeting advisers, teachers and testers for advancement and skills learning. Edited to add: The adults (SM) also preferred the 30 minutes a week to the 3 long hours of once a month. Barry
  7. 1 point
    @qwazse that must have been a fun experience. I find it odd that SBR doesn't have water heaters, when our camp here in CT has water heaters for the campsite showers. Luckily my wife has been moved up off the waitlist, so she will get the experience of 'ambient temperature' showers.... I am still waiting for my chance. Mike
  8. 1 point
    I read what you posted here and all it looks like to me is that the lawyers were making it difficult for the opposing side. This case is stupid, but the ramifications of it are a big deal. I am glad the counsel for the BSA is aggressively representing their cause. While I'd love it if everyone could hold hands and get along, I recognize that in some circles - like law, when you're in the midst of the case you have to push boundaries at times. I saw nothing in what you posted that suggested unethical behavior. Simply a judge who thought they were not playing nicely with each other and is telling them to get along better. I am no lawyer, but this seems like a non-event. Most respectfully, I'd encourage us to consider if we should choose to follow the Scout Law here and give these professionals the courtesy to not second guess their professional ethics on this and to be helpful by not trying to stir up more trouble for the BSA here.
  9. 1 point
    @dkurtenbach, this is a century-old fight. What the lawyers are trying to prevent from discovery is all of they ways each party had tried to impose more-or-less unwritten branding rules on the other for decades.
  10. 1 point
    Oof. You don't want to be on the receiving end of an order from an unhappy judge.
  11. 1 point
    I did a quick Google search, and there are hundreds of media accounts on this that will be present over the next several days. Most seem to be written in a manner to lead the reader into thinking that there is a current problem (couched as an "epidemic") with sexual abuse in the BSA, when the suits are related to events from the 60's, 70's and apparently some from the 80's. We have had our YPT act together for a long time and those who read this blog know it. Individual reporters on the far right or far left can be motivated to allow such a misunderstanding for reasons previously and fully discussed. These suits will continue to be fled in the hundreds over the coming months. The point of importance to me is that this makes very clear why we need to support a financial reorganization bankruptcy to deal fairly with the situation and prevent the BSA from being forced into liquidation over the next couple of years. I have confidence that the national organization is appropriately considering the matter and will act in the best interests of children.
  12. 1 point
    Well, I'm certainly willing to be convinced. But just so we are clear on the kind of patrol I'm talking about (what I call a Patrol Method patrol, or "real" patrol), here's a description of the patrol experience from the Boy Scout Handbook, Seventh Edition, Third Printing, January 1967, page 93: -------------------- "Patrol Doings. An honest-to-goodness, live-wire patrol does plenty of things on its own. It always has lots of interesting plans underway, whether patrol meetings, hikes, camps, Good Turns, stunts, making tents, fixing up a patrol den. "Patrol meetings are held regularly in the homes of the members, in the patrol's own den, or in the troop meeting room. The meetings are planned in advance by the patrol leader with the help of the rest of the patrol, and there's something for everyone to do. "It is at patrol meetings that you fellows help each other advance in Scoutcraft. It is here that all the great things you want to do are decided on. It is here that your friendships grow. "The good patrol, under a trained leader, has its own patrol hikes and camps from time to time. Those hikes and camps are the high spots in the patrol's life. It is around the fires of the gang that patrol spirit reaches its peak, where each of you comes closest to the heart of Scouting." -------------------- There's nothing in that 1967 description that could not be done by patrols today (with, of course, the required adult presence). But are patrols that operate like this still relatively common? Or is this type of patrol a relic of the past?
  13. 1 point
    A valiant effort. But I think the time of real patrols in the Boy Scouts of America has passed. For most troop adults/parents, the only things that they will every really know about patrols will be the explanations they hear from very young Scouts working on Scout rank requirements 3.a. and 3.b. and Tenderfoot rank requirements 2.a. and 2.c. -- that patrols are about symbols and meals. Scout rank: 3.a. Explain the patrol method. Describe the types of patrols that are used in your troop. 3.b. Become familiar with your patrol name, emblem, flag, and yell. Explain how these items create patrol spirit. Tenderfoot rank: 2.a. On the campout, assist in preparing one of the meals. Tell why it is important for each patrol member to share in meal preparation and cleanup. 2.c. Explain the importance of eating together as a patrol. The writers of the Journey to Excellence Troop Scorecard think Patrol Method is about leadership development rather than team development, even though we have a separate Method of Scouting for Leadership Development (which is also now one of the Aims of Scouting). #9. Patrol method: Use the patrol method to develop youth leaders. Bronze: The troop has patrols, and each has a patrol leader. There is an SPL, if more than one patrol. The PLC meets at least four times a year. Silver: Achieve Bronze, plus PLC meets at least six times. The troop conducts patrol leader training. Gold: Achieve Silver, plus PLC meets at least ten times. At least one Scout has attended an advanced training course, such as NYLT or Order of the Arrow Conference. And the experts on Troop meetings provide time on their model troop meeting agenda for "Breakout Groups." Patrols don't even have the dignity of designated Patrol Meetings. Who knows. Maybe the powers that be decided that youth get plenty of teamwork training through their sports teams, so teamwork training through patrols just isn't important anymore. Maybe Patrol Method simply got eclipsed by the popularity of individual achievement in Scouting through Advancement and Leadership/Positions of Responsibility. Or maybe the advent of the New Scout Patrol (designed to help Scouts advance to First Class more rapidly) and its ripple effect (age-based patrols) was the kiss of death: Younger patrols without older, experienced Scouts leading and teaching just can't do much on their own or contribute much to troop programs; and most troops have more younger Scouts than older Scouts.
  14. 1 point
    There is one checklist: the trail to First Class. Scouts should master each item on it. For example, no scout should ever think that they only need to present their gear to their PL once for rank advancement.This should be routine at each camp-out. Who has what gear, who needs what gear, and how to balance loads is an essential discussion for every hike and camp. Why? Because adults aren't going to be there to bail them out. Oh, wait, I confused BSA with the European and South American girls and boys who explained to me how their patrols work. Sorry ... Jamboree residual.
  15. 1 point
    I think this discussion, in the general sense, has not moved in years. On the one hand there's a possibility of kids getting hurt and on the other there's a loss of growing up. It's been stuck there. First of all, I think quantifying the risks and benefits might move things forward. Maybe the BSA has specific reports of scouts getting hurt when left on their own but we don't know how many and what the severity is. On the other side, there is no quantifiable information on the benefits. The entire discussion is Someone mentioned child abduction. How many scouts have been abducted by parents from a campout? Is it any? is it five out of the million scouts in the past 10 years? What number is reasonable? Roughly half of kids have gone through their parents divorce. I don't knot the percentage of ugly divorces but I've seen the results in kids that are totally messed up from it. Maybe these kids could benefit from the self confidence of camping on their own. Another aspect of risk vs benefit is comparing the scenario of no parents to untrained parents. The BSA is really adamant about having two adults around on a campout and yet a few weeks ago a bunch of parents had scouts make canoes from pvc tubing and Tyvek and take it on moving water. Moving water is one of those things the BSA requires certification for and camping is not. In the canoe incident that troop was really lucky some scout didn't get caught in a strainer. This brings up the topic of training. I'm all for good training. Rather than say no, you can't do anything, I'd rather see training that would allow scouters to take scouts, or let them go on their own, into different challenges. Challenges are one of those unmentioned methods, much like having fun, that should not be ignored for the sake of making it simple to reduce risk. The old saying don't throw the baby out with the bath water applies here. The BSA does seem to jump first to "not allowed" rather than "allowed if trained." If the risk of un trained scouters is too high to allow an activity then how about trained scouters to allow it rather than just denying it. The model for training is already in place and for the most part works well. Let's explore that route.
  16. 1 point
    I like seeing "our scouts in the XXX patrol decided". IMHO, this is the key to success. The scouts in the patrol decided.
  17. 1 point
    Barry, I took your advice and talked with the SPL. We reduced our total number of patrols in order to have a higher number of scouts in the patrols. All of our scouts in the NSP decided to stay together and absorb some of scouts from the other patrols. We will keep this format for as long as it works. Thank you, Mike
  18. 1 point
    Wow, this thread is OLD - I was barely out of high school when this conversation began (it's funny to think that this site is old enough that I could have joined as a youth member had I been more internet savvy then!). Anyway, as long as it's been resuscitated ... 1) Yes, we have a troop neckerchief 2) It's the stock black neckerchief with silver trim 3) It's worn by all the boys under the collar, except for one boy who wears a vintage uniform and so prefers to wear his over the collar to better fit the era of his attire 4) The black and silver go with their patrol emblem, which is a silver knight, and their patrol flag, which is black and white and silver. These are the official colors of our troop 5) They always wear their neckers, even when only the activity uniform is worn (black t-shirt and Scout shorts/socks/belts) 6) All the youth members wear neckers, but none of the adults do except for me (though I am a unit commissioner, so I suppose I am outside the parameters of this survey - but I feel naked without a necker no matter my position!)
  19. 1 point
    That would make a good one for Eagledad's A Scouter's Motto thread.
  20. 1 point
    He got it for free by asking someone in the dining hall for one. Walks onto the porch and sells it.
  21. 1 point
    Hello, World .... at subcamp Charlie, SBR ... World Scout Jamboree.
  22. 1 point
    An indoor Wood Badge course is pretty bad. An indoor Wood Badge course AT A HIGH ADVENTURE BASE is just nuts. What's the adventure, trying to avoid getting a splinter from the seat?
  23. 1 point
    I too, a BSA volunteer, would like to know the answers to Representative Speier 's questions regarding BSA paid state lobbyists. Sad day when in order to get transparency from National, we need Congress's power to investigate. Maybe Rep. Speier will also ask what happened at the National Annual Meeting last month.
  24. 1 point
    I don't know how accurate the earlier claim of 5 cases of sexual abuse in the BSA in 2018 is, but assuming for a minute that it's in the ballpark of accurate, can we just acknowledge the immense progress the BSA has made in curbing abuse? If we go by the available data from these articles, 12,254 victims of sexual abuse in the BSA have been reported since 1944. On average, that's about 163 per year. And surely the rate of abuse has diminished over time, likely with recent years tapering off and years further back having significantly greater numbers of abuses per year. We've gone from hundreds, sometimes several hundred, per year, potentially down to 5 reported cases in 2018. That's incredible. I know it's not zero, and let's not get back into the discussion about any abuse is one too many. We all agree on that. I think it's just worth saying, and I wish these articles would say it too, that the BSA has made incredible strides in drastically reducing incidents of sexual abuse.
  25. 1 point
    OK "My son came back a changed scout. It was after this course he dropped a school activity and decided to run for SPL. He came back proud to be a scout, wanting to lead. The NYLT patch he wears is the most important patch on his uniform to him." Convinced me I will wait the year to send him he will be 13 in September and is already a Star and has all his MB's for life needs his 6 months tenure in his POR. He hates his current POR Troop Quartermaster but it makes him stronger in his weak areas organization and keeping track of things. He talks about SPL and the next day talks about quitting. I chuckled when I saw the homesickness thing my son can not wait to be out on his own and out from under my roof. He has been to a summer camp and a week long winter camp in another council as a provo, stuck in with boys he knew nothing about and done fine. Perhaps it is in the genes I was away at military academy at the age he is now and thoroughly enjoyed it.