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

  1. 5 points
    Gotta wonder, will the (new) OA open casinos at Philmont and Summit?
  2. 4 points
    Much of your information is incorrect, and I must take a moment to clarify the false allegations of this post. Clearly you have a vendetta against our people, so I must as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints counter your claims so that the facts can be weighed to the benefit of the members here and the discussion at hand. We have a PROFOUND respect for the separation of church and state - but that idea is not, as some might assume, the right of the state to prohibit religions from taking political stand on issues that have moral and civil ramifications. You need to study what the separation of church and state really means. It does NOT mean that the two exist in separate worlds. Rather, it is a means of living in harmony together. Religions need government - and government needs religion. They cannot be utterly divorced, nor were they meant to be. The concept of freedom of religion, including the right to practice that religion, means that we have to right to our values and principles, and to proclaim them as well. To use our pulpits as platforms to declare our moral positions and effect social change is not, in fact, illegal. Nothing the church did during Prop 8 was illegal - I know, because I was there, and I was a part of it. The freedom of religion as defined in the constitution protects our right to preach our values and to work to effect social change and preserve social values. We participate in civil discourse entirely within the parameters of the law, and for you to make these broad false claims in this forum is both inflammatory - and off-topic. So let's get back to our relationship with the BSA, and leave Prop 8 to a discussion elsewhere, where the true facts can be considered without bias. As for our position in the BSA (since that IS what we are discussing here), there was never any "punitive" action taken by the church - we do expect our youth organizations to support our beliefs and standards, and when the BSA started making dramatic changes to its central values and membership standards, we had to make a choice between accepting these changes and being complicit with the fundamental change of moral ideology that would express, or standing by our beliefs and values at the cost of our long and treasured partnership. We held to our beliefs, yet also tried to do whatever we could to save that partnership, because we have loved it and helped millions of boys through it - but we can't cling to something forever when it just doesn't align with our core values anymore. The BSA, on the other hand, did not "stand on principle" - the very opposite - it changed and conformed and let itself be swept along by the tide of current social and political ideologies. It didn't "refuse to be exhorted" by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - first of all, because that's not really what the word exhort means (I suppose you mean something else but can't quite ascertain what it might be) - secondly, because in our day The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints needs a global program that adheres to the values and ideals for which we stand and in which we believe - and the BSA no longer fits that description. Our principles have stayed the same. Those of the BSA have been adapted to fit the current climate. If anybody moved, it was they. On top of all this, our new program has finally been released in tremendous detail, and it is exciting, inspired, and can be shared by the millions of Latter-day Saint youth all over the world. Youth who wish can use Scouting as part of their own personalized program of goals and learning if they wish, but now they have a whole host of options before them, with a program that will build faith and help them grow physically, spiritually, socially and intellectually. With all this in mind, BSA just doesn't fully serve the needs of our youth anymore, and so we have amicably, and with great love and tenderness, closed our official partnership. But as another one of our church leaders also said, "we have been and will always be friends." If there is resentment, then it is unwarranted. 106 years of partnership was a wonderful thing for BOTH of our organizations, but it cannot have been expected to last forever. Why this is happening no longer merits discussion. It's happening, so let us part ways as friends, and move on with love and kind feelings and hopes that both organizations will continue to thrive and grow in the future. The youth of today deserve to see with these changes faith and goodwill from both parties. Even if you have doubts, or concerns, or even fear or resentment - put on a smile, then look back with fondness, look forward with courage, and press on with hope - for their sakes. In the end we'll all be the better for it.
  3. 3 points
    I hope and pray my thoughts here will be articulated in a way that will generate a positive response and greater unity of understanding and discourse by those who read it. I notice that the impending separation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America has garnered much discussion about the motivations, ideology and mechanics behind this process. However, as I member of that faith, I also see that there has been an unfortunate trend by some to use this as an opportunity to make sideway comments voicing their opinions about our beliefs, our organization, our doctrines, our history, et cetera. It is entirely appropriate and healthy to maintain an open dialogue about how these coming changes will affect Scouting, the youth, the programs, and all other such related issues. It is also good to ask questions about why our church is making these changes and where our thoughts and feelings come from. However, is it appropriate for these discussions to be used as a platform for members to express incorrect information or inflammatory opinions about our faith? Is that a Scout-like thing to do? Is it ever right to deride in any way a religion or its leadership, to make accusations or spread calumny about another's faith? I cannot believe that it is. I do not only express this concern as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I speak thus on behalf of any and all faiths - Judaism, Islam, Buddhist, Hindu, Protestant, Evangelical, even atheist - whatever it may be, it behooves us to speak with nothing but respect and kindness about the religions of others - especially those of a fellow American. I think we can do better in these forums in regards to preserving goodwill between all faiths. I will gladly strive to improve my discourse here in regards to the ideals and thoughts of others, but that means I hope for the same from all here. That concept, the concept of fighting to preserve the right of all people to live and express their faith, is central to Scouting. A Scout is brave; a Scout is reverent. Those go hand in hand. Joseph Smith Jr. himself one wrote: So as we discuss at length the tremendous wave of changes that both the Church and Scouting face with the coming of the new year, let's keep the discussions kind and civil, and not use them to put down ANY faith or religion, whether explicitly or subtly. This website, filled with the thoughts of Scouters, leaders, and good people, should be an example of goodwill, grace, and respect. Let's watch what we say, and how we say it. I hope I am not too forward in sharing my feelings about this here, but know that I commit myself to do better from here on out before asking it of any of you. I hope others might be willing to do the same.
  4. 3 points
    What many miss in this discussion is that it's not a question of sexual ethics, it's a question of equality. A growing number of people today have reached the conclusion that neither sexual preference and gender identity are questions of choice - they are part of who we are. So, more and more people were reaching the conclusion that the BSA was discriminating in it's membership based on factors not in the control of the individual. Further, sexual preference and gender identity are separate topics. I've seen youth we historically would label a boy go through Scouting who clearly identify as a girl. This was well before they were even thinking of sexual preference. Permissive or restrictive sexual ethics have nothing to do with this topic. You can have a youth who identifies as a girl or is attracted to the sane biological sex who is not sexually permissive at all. I look at my kids schools - most of the high schools have Gay-Straight Alliance groups. My kids openly discuss topics of sexual preference and gender identify - yet complain when a movie gets too raunchy. That one boy likes another boy is no more a big deal than that a boy likes a girl. So, as the BSA was continuing to exclude people for reasons of gender identity & sexual preference, more and more people were reaching the conclusion that the BSA was out of touch with contemporary American values. Basically the BSA was in the middle of the evolution of our understanding of equality and had picked the wrong side.
  5. 3 points
    Why does this disease that everything has to be bigger, better, blingy-er always infect organizations? Instead of Bechtel, BSA could have done so much more good if it had developed a program to help retain Council level camps and properties on a regional basis. Property management expertise, help in setting up regional joint purchasing agreements to maximize cost efficiencies, marketing help, seed money to help transition some holdings into public ownership rather than being lost to sale and development. We are not scouts if we can't get kids outside. We are losing too many council camp properties.
  6. 3 points
    For the life of me, where does a families permissive or non-permissive sexual ethic come into BSA? I do not equate being an inclusive organization as being a reflection of any sexual ethic.
  7. 2 points
    "With the 2013 Indonesian Education Curriculum in effect, it is compulsory for all Indonesian students to join the scout movement as scouting is officially one of the study units in the curriculum." Thank you Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerakan_Pramuka_Indonesia
  8. 2 points
  9. 2 points
  10. 2 points
    And hence, too much kool-aid drinking. I hope it's someone that can sell a lot of popcorn. I'm hoping Chapter 11 will force that change. Time to drain the kool-aid, so to speak.
  11. 2 points
    Sadly they (BSA National) does not seem to look for outside talent. You have to be part of the club, raised in the club, dedicated to the club, in order to be anointed to run the club. Likely some of the issues with finance and direction, currently impacting the organization, may have been lessened if leaders with some outside experience and different professional path had been in charge.
  12. 2 points
    First, thread title edited. second, my late Dad was a CPA. When he discovered businesses were borrowing for operating funds instead of capital growth, he’d get out of any positions he held in them forthwith. I pray the National Council does not need these funds for operating revenues. If they do, BSA is on some form of borrowed time.
  13. 1 point
    Boy Scouts do service projects. They put in time for most of their rank advancements, and when they get to Eagle, they are expected to come up with a good project on their own and lead other scouts in getting it done. Hornaday awards also require big projects --- most are even more involved than Eagle projects. The Hornaday projects focus on environmental problems. Many troops also do service projects simply because its part of the scouting DNA. I thought it might be nice to put together a few pointers to media articles that cover some of these service projects. They help put scouting in a positive light, and I think they could help younger scouts get a few ideas for what's possible and maybe help them think about what kinds of service projects they might come up with when it's their turn to lead a project. Do you know of good scout projects? Got comments about any of these?
  14. 1 point
    A Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla was the Chartered Organization for my Ship in 1970's suburban Chicago. I earned Quartermaster in what can only be described as a splendid Scouting unit. The Auxiliary members were our adult unit leaders. Sea Scouts (called "Sea Explorers" for a brief period of time when temporarily combined with the Exploring program) and the Auxiliary was a perfect program combination then and can be again on a national basis. Most of our Sea Scout alumni joined that Auxiliary Flotilla and became its source of new membership -- I think we had the youngest average age for an Auxiliary Flotilla because of that. And, the Ship was able to benefit from existing opportunities to participate in boating activities with the Auxiliary without having to arrange the purchase and maintenance of very expensive boats and equipment. This is an example of a very effective combination where each organization is bettered as a result. The comparison to the LDS creating its own Venture Scout program and adapting the Boy Scout program to serve its religious and missionary preparation objectives is just not relevant. The Coast Guard Auxiliary will assist the Sea Scout program as it is currently configured. They will be a perfect national Chartering Organization.
  15. 1 point
    What you call a rule change and not standing on principle, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints calls "Continuous Revelation." I'd call it changing with the tides. LDS Church rule change on baptisms reverses 2015 'revelation' in midst of era of change https://kutv.com/news/local/lds-church-rules-change-reverses-2015-revelation 20 changes the new Mormon president has made to appeal to Millennials and Generation Z https://religionnews.com/2019/06/18/20-changes-the-new-mormon-president-has-made-to-appeal-to-millennials-and-generation-z/ One wonders what the reaction would have been if BSA Nationals said that god told them to make these changes.
  16. 1 point
    Exactly right! So if you're thinking you need a shower, go jump in a lake! (Just don't lather up when you're in or near the water.)
  17. 1 point
    The change to include reference to the mortgage is nowhere near significant enough for inclusion in the opening paragraph. It will be at the minimum moved to a blurb at the end, but more likely deleted. The Wiki admins don't mess around.
  18. 1 point
    I have always viewed the problem as some chartering organizations used their pull to have BSA conform to these COs beliefs and doctrine which then forced other COs who did not have those same beliefs to exclude members they would otherwise allow. To use an analogy, many religious based COs believe the eating of pork is a sin, and thus violates their moral code. I argue it would not be appropriate for those COs to dictate that BSA prohibit bacon and/or exclude from membership those who eat it. It is entirely appropriate for the CO to not have bacon at their functions. Sure this seems like a ridiculous argument to make, but the "sexual ethics" argument would be the same, just swapping out "one sin for another". Again, it boils down to whether one CO should dictate to another CO (through their power with BSA) what "values" the other COs must use for membership. I argue no.
  19. 1 point
    It was updated yesterday. Then deleted today as false information. The updated again. Wikipedia is fast.... Note that it is being edited by a user that was created 3 days ago and these are their only edits. Not stating it is false, but where this is included is clunky in the report so I expect more experienced Wiki users will continue to edit.
  20. 1 point
    @ParkMan, your first scentence contradicts the remainder of your reply. You say this issue is about some higher ideal, "equality", but then every example you put forward is an example of permissive sexual ethics, and you conclude with the biased judgment that BSA picked "the wrong side" in the late 80s. The promoters of restrictive sexual ethics continue to argue that BSA is choosing the wrong side now. They flourish in their domains. And here is where I especially disagree with you ... I encourage anyone, of any particular faction, in any particular role (leader, follower) to keep talking about BSA. I'd prefer that they'd say something novel and insightful each time they spoke, but we should recognize that is hard to do. (See the reference to a rehashed article in law-dot-com in another thread for an example of failure at novelty.) It gives parents something to talk to me about. Negative advertising: it ain't great, but it's cheap!
  21. 1 point
    This whole thread was started because some high ranking person in the LDS church made the statement that: I wish the LDS church all the best in their new youth program. Now that they've left, I'd encourage church leaders to stop talking about the BSA and move on. Yep - guess the BSA just got caught up in that new fangled idea of the worth of the individual. I'm quite comfortable that the BSA left the LDS church because the restrictions it placed on the BSA were causing too many other issues. I'm glad the BSA for once stopped pandering and chasing membership.
  22. 1 point
    If you think we perceive men and women as unequal, then you are grossly misinformed as to what we believe about the divine nature of both men and women, and it would do you well to study your words before putting false accusations online. I worry you may have many incorrect perceptions about our faith which I would be happy to discuss at any time. However, this forum is not an appropriate place for you to express your opinions about our doctrines and beliefs.
  23. 1 point
    Here is a bit more info about it: https://seascout.org/news/auxscout-is-here/?fbclid=IwAR0nQRuc6iqFINcCwpSl1SBQh9JbfzUpTkab0EIBett_OQR2HFLPlYl5dkQ
  24. 1 point
    Yep, this has been in the works for a while now. It is a very good thing. The CG Auxillary has a lot of excellent training and resources to help the youth and scouters in the program. There are now a lot of older experienced mariners that will be able and willing to teach the youth excellent skills. It really isn't about Coast Guard itself. USCG Auxillary is a seperate entity than the CG.
  25. 1 point
    Problem is, traditional Scouting, in the sense of the Outdoor Program, was down-graded before today's typical Scoutmasters were born. So even those with experience as Scouts experienced a watered-down version. The typical Scoutmaster lasts less than a year. Through training, they had a shot at learning what is no longer in the literature - exciting outdoor program and the Patrol Method, our "essential method." The time allocated to training unit adults has been sharply reduced over years since the "improved Scouting Program" savaged our youth AND adult membership numbers. What was an "outdoor weekend" for unit adults (Fri night - Sunday afternoon) is now a single day, and slightly more program material used to get a six-day "week" called "Wood Badge'" - Scoutcraft through First Class (until 1972). Leadership at the council level is given to "good Scouters" = $$$$$$$$$$$$, whether they are even interested in leading training or not. Add council leadership whose "logic" is that less of a thing is the solution for poor quality., and the knowledge is dying out. If computer stuff was attractive, it might not matter. The objective is to attract youth. But Scout computing seems as popular as Scout Soccer - not too. This financial maneuver is all over the internet, but BSA says only: “Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) renewed and revised certain credit facilities through a process approved by our National Executive Board.” The spokesperson also said, “We will not be providing additional commentary.” I once lawyered for the Erie-Lackawanna Rd. It was in terrible financial condition for a variety of reasons, having filed for bankruptcy protection in 1972. My employer at the time had been appointed by the Bankruptcy Court to defend litigation of various sorts. One day in early 1976, I called the EL offices on business, and no one answered the phone. I tried other numbers with the same result. I walked over to the EL headquarters offices, and the lights were on but no one was there. Cups half-filled with cold coffee and last week's newspapers (including copies of the Cleveland Press, itself dead by 1982) gave clues to the timing of the abandonment of the EL's offices. After that, it existed only as a legal fiction for a few more years - entries in Bankruptcy records. Portions were folded into Conrail. Change is inevitable. Sometimes change is improvement.
  26. 1 point
    Sadly I am reminded of events in the Colonial Virginia Council. They sold Camp Chickahominy and mortgaged their scout office to pay for Bayport Scout Reserve, which was supposed to be a Premier Scout facility. They couldn't make payments on Bayport, so it was foreclosed and they had to move out of their scout office.
  27. 1 point
    ...and if our units are struggling financially, National wants us to "sell more popcorn."
  28. 1 point
    Sadly it has been ongoing for a while. This really stems from several items 1) The cost for the Summit, this is a huge drain 2) Pension Liabilities that are not fully funded for the professional Scouts 3) General overhead not full contracted for current size of the organization 4) Sub part of the that is the current Council Structure may not be the best to deliver Scouting to the local community 5) General Medical Health Care costs, actually this impacts pretty much every business and organization 6) The liability portion (not abuse cases) that are more prevalent, see above, due to everyone's rise in premiums, a lot of high deductibles, makes more sense to file on BSA insurance for a sustained injury 7) The abuse case money issue
  29. 1 point
  30. 1 point
    I don't think one could disagree with this statement: “The reality there is we didn’t really leave them; they kind of left us,” said M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “The direction they were going was not consistent to what we feel our youth need to have ... to survive in the world that lies ahead for them.” One could certainly argue whether they agree with stated positions of the Mormon Church, but they are what they are. Fact is the BSA has made changes in membership requirements. The BSA felt they needed to make changes to be more inclusive, the Mormon Church feels they need to adhere to their values. In this case both groups are in many ways correct. The outcome (in my opinion) is not good for either group. BSA is losing 20% of their membership while the Mormon Church is becoming more insular and interacting less with non-Church groups.
  31. 1 point
    Agreed. It often felt like a square peg for a round hole. Never really fully matching. It was more LDS used BSA as a youth program as the program was 70% matching. It seems more a left-over relationship from the 1920s-1960s. But as society evolved, the LDS faith development program needed something else. I don't view it as LDS strong arming or BSA leaving LDS. Rather, society changed. LDS could have chosen to use BSA within the context of LDS but instead decided it was finally time to create their own branded youth faith development program. It may have a huge financial impact, but it should not be surprising or even debatable. The program and needs drifted apart over many decades.
  32. 1 point
    That ought to cover exec salaries for another what, five years?
  33. 1 point
    Then they probably should have consulted a real-estate attorney to explain it to them instead of publishing a story they don't understand. This transaction appears to be nothing more than updating and increasing the Line of Credit that BSA has been able to draw upon (with Philmont being the collateral) since 2010.
  34. 1 point
    I'll have to disagree....When it comes to the social agenda, the Mormon Church has never respected separation of church and state. This course of action that the Mormon hierarchy decided to pursue was purely punitive, their original intent was to force BSA to back down from social changes that they strongly disagreed with. Recall Prop 8, California's Equal Rights amendment where the Mormon church illegally used the pulpit and deceptively named grassroots groups to enlist supporters against the amendment. It should be obvious that the Mormon church placed the BSA in a no win situation... to either conform to Mormon values to keep the dollars flowing into BSA coffers; or, to adjust the program to current societal changes and loose LDS support. As I see it, BSA took the right course by standing on principle and refusing to be exhorted by the LDS
  35. 1 point
    I like to tell my scouts the story of the only time I've put someone in the recovery position for real, the moral of the story being don't make any assumptions. It was about 15 years ago now. It was late in the evening and myself and Mrs Cambridge Skip wrere walking home when we came a cross a man slumped on his hands and knees in the gutter. It was a busy road so we helped him onto the pavement. He was very unsteady on his feet and sluring his speach to the point that he was incomprehensible. We were also right outside a pub. Our assumption (and we all know what that is the mother of!) was that he was drunk. We sat him down and were debating whether to call him a taxi or the police when he slumped forward unconscious on the ground. We put him in the recovery position and called an ambulance. The emergency operator also called the police (I believe that's standard if the patient is believed to be drunk) and they arrived first. One of the police took a look in the man's pockets and what did he find? Insulin! It looks like he was in some kind of diabetic shock. They bundled him in the back of the car and took him straight to hospital. The moral of course being don't make any assumptions, especially if you didn't witness what actually happened to the patient!
  36. 1 point
    Flying? When I was maybe 6(?) dad and I went on a 'guy" day out to the Frederick County Fair. I saw a helicopter land in the big field, and being crazy about airplanes, we went over to see it. I found out later it was a Bell H47G, with the big plexi glass cover for the pilot. For a price, you could go for a ride ! Dad and I strapped in, and man, I still remember that ride ! Unfortunately, my poor eyesight kept me away from a pilot's license, but aviation still became important to me...… Help that young aviatrix learn to fly the REAL way.... Lift, Thrust, Drag,,,, Gravity she already knows.
  37. 1 point
    I was one of those who was indifferent about the OA scene due to time constraints and other issues. Over time due to arm twisting, I became more involved, and so has my son. Yes, there are youth that should not be there, and are troublemakers, but it is no sin to rally the troops, and encourage youth and adults to serve. We should be reminded that the chief goal of scouting is to develop young men into engaged citizens and leaders of the future. Being tapped is not an award for the self involved overachievers, but a call to service. Relationships and strengthening the bonds of brotherhood will develop if people serve.
  38. 1 point
    Yes - but politics has a different dynamic. In an election there is a definitive winner. So, since we live in a primarily two party system it becomes a binary choice. So, appealing to the core constituency of one of those two choices is generally a good thing. In Scouting, there's not such a stark choice. The vast majority of available kids do not join Scouting. Further, there is not one political constituency in Scouting. I live in a pretty progressive, secular area. What matters to families in our area is very different than in others. Frankly - the BSA made a huge mistake ever letting itself get aligned with any particular belief set. All these issues around admitting gay youth and adults, girls, and specific religious beliefs are done more to hurt the program than they've helped. Admit gays you tick off one group, don't admit gays you tick off another. The BSA should have stuck to providing the program framework and should have stayed away from all all this admissions stuff.
  39. 1 point
    I actually see this as a positive reference to Boy Scouts. They specifically call out participation in Boy Scouts because it is so counter to the message and the respect that is afforded Boy Scouts. there is too much negative publicity because of abuses by Boy Scout leaders. But despite that, the public perception of youth in Boy Scouts remains very positive. This entire event is sad and occurs way too often. But the references to Boy Scouts is all positive.
  40. 1 point
  41. 0 points
    So at a quick glance of OP document, this is rob Philmont to pay Bechtel?
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