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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/17/18 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    When I was a bumbling, unmotivated Tenderfoot, I witnessed a scout receiving his medal at the end of a regularly scheduled troop court of honor. All of the merit badges earned at summer camp were presented (but none for me--I went but didn't earn any that year). Then the ranks...Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class. Fair amount of scouts went up and collected their new patch. Star...Life...only a couple of those. Then the new Eagle was called forward. The lights were dimmed. SM had some meaningful words. Medal pinned on scout. Mom's pin presented. New Eagle said a few words. Ten minutes max. No "Eagle Charge." No "marked man" recitation by the MC. No guest speaker. No form letters with stamped signatures from dignitaries. None of that stuff was needed. That ceremony was so meaningful I can clearly recall many of the little details vividly 40+ years on. I understand that this scenario isn't possible for the case at hand. But it could work just fine for others. It certainly bucks the modern trend for the coronation-style Eagle ceremony.
  2. 6 points
    @Mich08212, now that you bring it up, I won't pardon your language. Let's keep it scout appropriate. Thank you, The moderator team.
  3. 6 points
    I can't believe I just read all eight pages of this thread. It seems clear that some members of the troop committee do not believe your son was qualified for Eagle even though he passed his EBOR. It was mentioned that a member of the EBOR panel also had reservations but passed him anyway (or did I get that wrong). Perhaps these reservations are related to the physical limitations of your son or other factors that affected his participation. Perhaps quality was missing from efforts made at the last minute. From the bullying comments, it seems some resentment toward your son and/or your family goes back many years. That could be attributable to personality differences or something more serious. We have all witnessed Scouts who limp across the finish line right at their 18th birthday (I call them "Deathbed Eagles"). As a Scoutmaster, I will admit that I am not inspired by that kind of last-minute scrambling. Their lack of preparation does not equal my emergency, but I won't create artificial obstacles either. It is definitely not an ideal situation for anyone. My own son had his ECOH earlier this year, and I can tell you that it was a LOT of work to pull everything together. If the troop committee feels your son was undeserving in the first place, it is understandable that they don't want to make extra efforts to honor his achievement by organizing an ECOH (I'm not saying their attitude is justified, but it is understandable). The Scoutmaster argued in favor of an ECOH, but the committee said no. It sounds like the fight is over. Given that your son is now 19 and no longer registered with the troop, you are pushing on a string. Just organize a family event and invite those you want. You can make the effort to write and solicit congratulatory letters from various sources if desired. If the Scoutmaster argued in favor of holding an ECOH, I assume he will show up at your family event. His presence will add some formality and gravitas to it.
  4. 5 points
    I was looking for some supplemental materials for helping to teach basic compass skills and came across this video. It's hilarious while also covering some good basic information. Enjoy!
  5. 5 points
    I recall a simple ceremony...on a very hot night in an un-airconditioned meeting room at Howard Air Force Base, Panama. The MC said a few words. Three of us lined up on one side of a wooden bridge. We walked across. Our new SM put a brand new Boy Scout neckerchief on each of us. We each received a card and the AOL patch. SM said a few words (Mr. Bates was a powerful man and 12 words from him carried more weight than 100 words from others). I couldn't have been more thrilled--Cub and Webelos days were over, a new adventure was about to begin. There was no OA or Native American discussion at the ceremony. For me, that neckerchief and AOL patch represented a transition from little kid to Boy Scout. Nothing more. I'm okay with that. I still have the neckerchief and the card, both faded but still meaningful. As with the Eagle Court of Honor, I think these ceremonies have changed drastically to suit the needs of the adults involved. Ceremonies should be meaningful and possess gravitas. But too many ceremonies today are either poorly planned/sloppy, or over-orchestrated to the point of obnoxiousness.
  6. 5 points
    Just 2 cents - you can handle another post, right? Our troop once had a committee chair who was difficult to work with and antagonistic towards my son with ADHD. I know there are some Scouters out there who do not do well with kids with differences, and who put know-it-all-ness, power trips and ego into their volunteer jobs. It's disgusting. You are not alone in that kind of experience and I'm sorry that your family had to struggle through it. I hope you and the Elks throw your son a fantastic court of honor! Congrats to your son!
  7. 5 points
    I hold to the idea that if an activity is done outside, it's an 'outdoor activity,' and if it's some kind of athletic event, it's an 'outdoor sporting event.' Why try and complicate it? So yes, absolutely, any activity they play at Cub Camp can count towards this requirement. If they play, even for a few minutes, they did it. Simple and easy! I feel the reason it seems vague is to make sure people don't get too hung up over what does or doesn't "count," and focus more on getting the boys to be active outdoors. Especially in the summertime when it stays light longer into the evening, I make sure at least a few den meetings every month are done outdoors. The whole point of the award is to help get dens and packs outside. We had our Raingutter Regatta out in the Church parking lot last night, and it was lovely - parents and families sat out on the lawn, the boys got to play in the water after the races were completed - everybody had a good time. As for conservation projects, planting things is always fun, especially quick-growing fruits or vegetables that they can enjoy in simple meals on camp-outs later in the year. Bird- or bat-houses can make for wonderful observation activities in the future, and collecting goods to recycle can involved the entire community. The key to anything is simplicity. We want the boys to learn that conservation is something anybody can do easily at home, so the more intimate the project, the deeper the lesson can sink in.
  8. 5 points
    Well, no, it doesn’t answer all my questions. But that’s OK. In your answer you’ve insulted a committee member, made excuses for your son (he’s too thin to do physical activity???), brushed off someones battle with cancer, and said you had to take over his Eagle workbook. It sounds like your son and his Troop had come to a mutually toxic relationship. Better to do an ECOH on your own and move on to the next chapter. I can’t imagine how this could end in a way that satisfies all parties.
  9. 5 points
    @Mich08212, here's what's weird to me (and I think most of us who are Eagle scouts): the last thing we would ever do is wait for some committee to plan this thing. Not to sound too much like The Little Red Hen but when I did mine: I got the date from the church to reserve the hall. I let the troop know when it was happening. I invited the speakers. I asked scouts if they would participate. I asked the SM if he would do his usual shtick. I stuffed the invites and addressed the envelopes (typed, I think, triple spaced). Mama and her friends on the women's auxiliary made cookies and punch. I typed up the program (can't remember who paid for the copies). A friend (sister to two of our scouts) inserted a poem she wrote herself - that was the only thing I didn't ask someone to do, and a pleasant surprise. Well, the president's letter ... no clue who requisitioned that. My sons' were more complicated affairs linked to HS graduation parties, so their were more hoops to jump through as a family. But ... we did not wait for some stinking committee's rubber stamp. Guests, leaders, and scouts could show up (or not) as they wish. If the committee wouldn't approve, we wouldn't care because, well, we were Eagle scouts and could lite our own fires. Deny us matches, and we had flint and steel (not stainless) blades, deny us that, we have a lens, deny that, batteries (even back in my day there were a few lying around). We didn't fight for our right to party, we just partied. I'm really sorry your troop culture has turned sour. But, don't throw your dimes down on a lawyer. You don't need one. Your son has his scout buddies and his college buddies and his family. He can do this whenever he pleases. Invite whomever he pleases: granddad, SM, maybe even you! If the committee complains, give them a name of that lawyer you were going see. Tell them they can spend their $$s demanding your son to cease and desist vs. you demanding them to permit.
  10. 4 points
    Oh if only that were true. Though I have not seen many, and I have been at this rodeo for a while, I have run across a few leaders that felt if a little training was good, then more was better. They spend more time in training, attending training, running training, finding courses, etc etc than actually you know, being out and about with a unit, in the woods, in the mud, maybe huddled under a tarp in a downpour chatting with young scout on his first outing and not happy about all the rain. That's where Scouting happens, out with Scouts having fun on adventures. Yes the training is good and WB can be OK, but never ever forget the why, as an adult, you are involved in the program. Lose that focus and you are just an older person in a khaki uniform.
  11. 4 points
    As a youth ceremonialist, I throughly enjoyed conducting Cub AOL and crossover ceremonies. The regalia was neat, but as others have said, to me it was just a tool that we used to help achieve our aims. If we can’t provide the recognition and inspiration to the Cubs without feathers on our heads, we’re doing something wrong. Beyond that, most Cub Packs will turn over most, if not all leaders within a 6-10 year period. Some even faster. What is “new” in 2019 will be “we’ve always done it this way” by 2025. It’s not going to shock me when they announce regalia is going away altogether. While the Native American elements have been a vital part of our image, it’s not who we are at the core. Our principles remain unchanged. If they were to announce that they are dropping Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, or Service, sign me up to protest, but until then we should focus on fulfilling our Obligation.
  12. 4 points
    Sounds to me like whatever hoops needed to be jumped through were done so successfully. The award kit is in the scout's hands. To me, the buck is stopping at the committee. There could be some sour grapes because the boy pushed the deadlines, and that's where there may be more to the story. But, that's not particularly relevant. What is relevant? When the troop gets into the habit of providing space, time, every scout in uniform, honor guard, etc ... for every ECoH, families feel entitled to that. Then committees feel like they need to govern it. Letting adults run around with scissors making rules ... sooner or later someone's gonna get hurt!
  13. 3 points
    Assuming your son is also ADHD, this explains a lot. Not that it's good but now it all makes sense to me. If I'm wrong then please excuse my assumption. Either way, ask your son what he wants. The troop will not put their heart into it no matter what and that's what your son wants. Assuming he is ADHD then he likely poured his heart into getting eagle. Maybe he'd like to go up to the mountains with his friends, have a 10 minute ceremony, and then have a slide show of good memories and a picnic. After all this fuss it will be the best memory and in 10 years from now it will be that much better. That's all that matters, what does he think about it in 10 years from now. All the candles and symbolism doesn't mean as much as the memories of what he did. Celebrate that. Personally, I don't care for the pomp and ceremony. It's all about memories. The slide show is the best part. Start with with a fat cheeked tiger cub and end with a young man. When I started as SM, and I was asked to talk, I would talk about the meaning of Eagle and the obligation and all that. But I soon changed it to be about the scout. My trail to eagle talk was always about that scout's trail to eagle. I'd sit down and talk to him before and find out the best and the worst and then weave it into a story. There was always funny stuff and I always ended it with some serious stuff.
  14. 3 points
    I can't rule anything out at the Constitution-free zone that is our modern border, but this shouldn't be any different than someone who smokes dope in Amsterdam, has a beer at Oktoberfest, or eats some raw milk cheese in France. Besides taxation the US doesn't typically try to enforce laws outside their jurisdiction for US citizens.
  15. 3 points
    Barry, yes the ceremonies were only one aspect of it. I did a lot of that heavy lifting. Camporee staff, counclfire building, Trail clearing, bridge building, raking leaves, if it needed to be done we went out and did it. We were the ones who did the hard work, the Dirty Work and we were damn proud of it. You never asked for money, or a patch, we didn't even care if we got a round of applause. It didn't really matter if anyone else knew, we knew. And that was enough for us. That is the attitude and mindset I have striven to instill in the current generation. It is admittedly a lot harder now. But there are some Scouts who seem to truly understand that it's not about us it's about serving, bearing the burdens of those who cannot carry the load alone, they inspire me and they keep me going. And it's not that I need the Traditions to continue to comfort me in my old age. I think they need the Traditions to continue so that they can feel a part of something ancient and continuing and that they are links in that chain. A tradition that they can be part of and then pass on to the next generation and I fear that all that will soon be lost and forgotten
  16. 3 points
    Well another BSA tradition is tossed onto the altar of political correctness. This directed and influenced by people not involved in the program nor interested in the why. Also those supposedly offended by the usage who are in many cases supportive of the usage and tradition were not consulted. Is Akela still mentioned in Cubs or is that verboten now?
  17. 3 points
    You think that’s great. Just wait until a three year old girl starts asking you every night at bedtime, “I can be a Cub Scout when I be bigger?” And you can smile and say “Yes.” This is my happy reality. And being able to pass that Bear Cub scarf down at Crossover that used to belong to my now-adult boys... priceless.
  18. 3 points
    Well the final hole is: If you reported the YP violation to Council, and got no results, WHY did you keep subjecting your son (and yourself) to the bully for years? Tell the SM...and the SE in a firm letter exactly why you are leaving and find a new Troop that follows the Scout Oath, Law and YP requirements. I dunno...something doesn't smell right.
  19. 3 points
    The Scout is an Eagle...the EBOR was convened and he passed. His application was approved by the SM, the Troop Committee Chair, District, Council and National and he has his certificate and medal in hand. All this pontificating about a "valid" EBOR is moot. The only remaining question is why the jerks on the Troop Committee and SM are denying him a Court of Honor.
  20. 3 points
    Hi @Mich08212, I'm a Troop Committee Chair and have been for a while. Why not just go to the next committee meeting and ask what's up? They are all generally public meetings. If someone came to ours and had a question like this, we'd take the time to answer.
  21. 3 points
    If you need advice on how to write a letter, you can find that any number of places online. There is no official Scout letter template. Is it a ceremony? A party? It can be either, whatever the Scout wants. I apologized in advance if my questions seemed aggressive. I’m pretty close to walking that back. What you describe sounds like a toxic troop situation, but your language and approach are not helping things. Consider the way you have presented things here; if someone brought these complaints to you in this manner, claiming discrimination and insulting various people you volunteer with, would you be sympathetic? You have been given plenty of guidance in this thread. If you don’t like what you have been told, that’s on you. Plan the CoH, run it, and move on. I fail to see the purpose behind the huge amount of emotional energy that you are expending on this, especially since neither you nor your son are continuing in Scouting.
  22. 3 points
    Just completed our trek. 4 days, 26 miles. Very challenging terrain.
  23. 3 points
  24. 3 points
    My son decided on joining a ship. He looked at two of them and choose the one that mainly sails sunfish and other small boats. He really liked the amount of freedom and control he was given. They capsized maybe 1 minute after starting, one of the Mates talked them through the process to right the boat from a chase boat. After that they where busy sailing all over the lake and each time they capsized they were able to right the boat pretty fast. It is nice seeing him excited about being involved again.
  25. 3 points
    My scoutmaster always said if your scout book did not fall apart you were not reading it enough.