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  1. 14 points
    Last time I camped out with the troop, sitting round the campfire, some of the older scouts asked for a scout story from the old days. So I told them one or two , then turned to go. They asked for another, then another. Surprised and somewhat pleased they were so interested I never once thought I was getting myself in trouble. But the next PLC it seemed all the scouts demanded to know why they couldn't do fun stuff like Mr Oldscout did. I dont think I'm gonna be allowed to tell stories without supervision anymore. And I had left out all the crazy ones. When I joined scouts in '70 it was billed as an adventure, one without safe spaces or coloring books. We were sometimes cold, sometimes wet, sometimes hungry. But it was the most fun we had ever had. Bottom line The more we make scouts like school the less boys will like it.
  2. 11 points
    LDS units form a HUGE percentage of Scouting units in the Western region especially. States like Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming, and large portions of California and Oregon have exceptionally large numbers of LDS units. I am sorry to hear you have had those kind of experiences, but in all my time Scouting as both a youth and an adult, and having observed the MASSIVE size and rich dynamics of Scouting in thickly LDS areas like Utah and Idaho, I can say confidently that, in the majority of cases both historically and regionally, LDS units are powerhouses both in membership and advancement. The Utah National Parks Council is the largest in Scouting, and they do amazing things there. It's been pointed out already, but for over 100 years the Church has supported and enriched the Scouting program. Don't count on too much crossing over into non-LDS Troops. The new activity program will inevitably be as involving and fulfilling as Scouting has been for the past century, and there will be a huge, worldwide coordinated effort to implement it entirely without leaving much time for Scouting as well, and besides, this new direction will absolutely deliver the same benefits to our youth as Scouting has in the past, so the need to do both will become a redundancy. Now, I am of course looking at this with eyes looking towards a bright future and a heart filled with optimism. But make no mistake - I am also grieving in a way that I cannot even describe with words yet - not that the Church is leaving Scouting; no, we will be fine and carry on as ever - but I am heartbroken that with all these new changes, the Boy Scouts of America, as conceived by Lord Baden-Powell and nurtured and cultivated by the likes of Beard, Seton, West, and Hillcourt - is dead. It is a new, gender-neutral program which will continue to wither away with each concession to popular opinion. And its most powerful of all beliefs, the idea that boys need a program all their own to help them grow into better citizens, leaders, husbands and fathers, has now been made to look as old-fashioned - if not irrelevant - if not even "inequitable." And it's the boys who lose when the rights to their own program are taken from them to make way for the girls who do not learn as they do, and will by necessity bring with them changes to accomidate their unique natures. The BSA has now made a powerful statement - that girls learn just the same as boys, and so they should get to enjoy the same program, which should be made to teach both genders the same. The Church firmly stands by the belief that boys and girls, and men and women, are inherently different from each other, that gender is an eternal part of our divine nature, and that men and women have different needs and learn in different way in order to best fulfil their roles in the family. The Boy Scouts of America has now effectively moved away from this belief which for over a century it fought to protect, and as such, it no longer aligns with what we believe. It will be a bittersweet separation, to be sure. But the Church's doctrines and principles have never changed, while those of the BSA have. I personally am sorry to no end that these changes have been made, and that the program no longer offers the best options for out youth. But they have taken their stand, and now we have to take ours. Mind you - we have until the end of next year before the change, so you still have another 18 months with me! And unlike some others I know, I don't plan to drop off the face of the Scouting planet. It will always be a part of me, and I will always care about how the program continues, even my time and energies will be needed elsewhere.
  3. 11 points
    Three generations of Eagle Scouts happened tonight.
  4. 10 points
    1- Stop driving their existing membership away with ridiculous changes to their core principles in order to be 'liked' by a fickle politically correct group of progressives who HATE what the BSA stood for. 2- Do what they say that they are going to do, and stop changing their 'written in stone' positions every six months. 3- Reduce the redundant CYA paperwork and useless training that drives away seasoned volunteers. 4- Push a program that goes back into the woods. BSA needs to compete against digital and social attractions, not try to emulate them. The outdoors and nature were a solid attraction that boys could find only in scouting. The wilderness is still there, waiting.
  5. 10 points
    Well, that's sort of where I am going with this, and I do not think the "gender correlation" is anywhere near 100% - or more to the point, is not likely to be anywhere near 100% with the girls who are going to join the Cub Scouts or the Whatever (11-17) Scouts. Boys (and girls) are already pretty different just within their own genders. Some are much more athletic than others (and everything in between.) Same thing with their enthusiasm for different parts of the program. (I have seen boys who actually liked the Eagle-required "homework-badges", and liked camping and hiking and backpacking a little less - and vice versa, of course. I will never forget the kid who, at age 15 or so, brought the book "C++ for Dummies" on a camping trip, which I thought was hilarious.) Same thing with their interest in being leaders. (My son was never interested in being THE leader, either as PL or SPL. He was an APL and then his POR's were Den Chief and then Instructor. But there were times he was thrust into being the acting PL or ASPL, and 2 or 3 times, acting SPL, and in my unbiased opinion (ha ha) he did a great job. I thought he was a "natural" leader - he just wasn't that interested in leading.) Same thing with every other part of being a Scout. Girls have the same differences among themselves, although one might speculate that the "average" girl who decides to join the BSA might be more enthusiastic about the more strenuous outdoor activities, and might in general be a little "bolder" (perhaps even "tougher") than the "average" girl in general. Even if one accepts that the "average boy" is different from the "average girl" (and I do), I think that if everybody calms down and just sees what happens, the transition will be smoother - and the pressure to "adjust" or "modify" the "program" will be less - than a lot of people here expect.
  6. 10 points
    One of the grandkids explained it to me tonight. She always has dinner with us before going to Religious Education on Wednesday evenings. She doesn't play with "Magic" cards, but she knows about them. She has a completely different take on the issue. She thinks that those of us who are opposed to having girls in boy scouting should embrace the idea of boys playing nerdy fantasy card games at scout campouts. Nothing could be more effective at keeping the girls out.
  7. 9 points
    I am not at all squeamish about BSA having separate units for boys and girls. I just don't believe it is going to happen. Once these linked units are firmly established, BSA will announce that they no longer see any reason for separate units, and they will all be officially merged into co-ed units. BSA is taking an incremental approach to changing over to co-ed scouting. It has no intention to keep the girl units permanently segregated.
  8. 9 points
    You raise some interesting points that I'd like to address from many years running coed scouts in the UK Will girls being around influence how boys behave? Sort of. And by that I mean in a good way! It doesn't stop boys being boys. The noise and the fart jokes and the banter are still there. It does though take the edge of certain things. You made specific reference to taking a pee. I actually think that is a fantastic example. Whether there are girls around or not I think it would be polite if, while on a hike or a camp, when a scout needs a pee they slip behind a tree or some bushes and do it out of site (and of course downhill from camp and well away from any water supply etc) of other people! Having girls around encourages that kind of polite behaviour. Does it stop the horse play? Certainly not. This is one of the videos on our troop youtube channel. I've always loved it. They didn't realise I was filming till the last few seconds. Shows what the kids are really like with the boys and girls mixed up together. They're just a gang, as patrols and troops were always meant to be. We typically have separate boy and girl tents on camp but half the time they end up mixing up when it actually comes to it. Are boys and girls different? Yes of course they are. They have physical differences they hit pubity at different times, there are some character differences. Is there are an argument for having single sex activities? Yes there is and I fully respect many of those arguments. I think it's particularly strong, for examples, in sport. While I don't think there's a moral reason as such for coed scouting I do actually see it as better that way. Why? Scouts is not an end in itself. We are not taking them camping for the sake of learning to camp, fun though it may be. The outdoors, patrols, hiking, community service, they are just the method by which we are preparing young people for life. And life is coed. The last bastions of male only professions have tumbled with only some specific religious leadership roles remaining. Wherever today's scouts end up working, whatever profession or vocation they go into, it will almost certainly be coed. When they go to work they won't be separated, when they go to university they won't be separated. So why separate them now? Learn how to manage or be managed by someone of the opposite sex when they 12 and it becomes less of a problem when they are 22.
  9. 9 points
    Well, our 83 year old Pack just had our first girl den meeting... and I believe the Earth is still rotating. No media present but we did have some pictures taken of the girls. Most were in uniform and no skorts. Overall it was a lot calmer than a boy den meeting. We have 3 den leaders working the 3 separate age groups present. All of us we experienced in the Pack and we remarked that we need to prepare more as the girls got through the material more quickly than we planned. That could be due to smaller groups, but they were also a bit more focused. Several of the girls were talking about getting friends to join, so we will see if this grows before the fall. The skit I planned to work with them on was a failure (it dealt with fake spitting into buckets but the young ones didn’t quite pull off the fake part and and kept spitting on me). There may me some media (all optional) later in the week as we are one of a few Packs in the area doing the early adopter program. I’m greatful that our council let us run a standard den meeting without pushing for media access and the TV cameras I’ve seen in other markets. They were very hands off and simply thanked us for taking this on.
  10. 8 points
    Or maybe we could remember the Scout Oath and Law when commenting on a Scout Forum
  11. 8 points
    BSA is non-denominational. Following the old book is not required. I have no more business questioning the practices of Catholics or Hindu than I do trying to tell other people that they must accept my (or my faiths) interpretation of sin. Again, I am not going to judge others and while you state it is clear to you - it is only clear to those that follow that faith. With hundreds of Christian denominations, there are going to be more that are wrong than are right when it comes to what is actually "Biblical" and I am sure each one thinks they have the correct interpretation - and they can't all be right. I would never assume to tell another person that they are not following the Bible. Again, not my place to judge them and it would leave me feeling like I was a modern day Pharasee.
  12. 8 points
    IMO, if there is "no gender" in Scouting, USA then the uniform - shirts and pants style should be the same for all.
  13. 8 points
    If this was a different thread, on a different topic, I might tend to agree with some of the statements that I have read here about retention. I cannot agree with them in the context of this thread and this topic. When scouting loses a large number of boys, en masse, because a Chartering Organization pulls out of scouting, it is not the fault of unit scouters. It was not a failure of the unit scouters when a Catholic diocese dropped out, it is not a failure of the unit scouters that LDS is dropping out, and it will not be a failure of the unit scouters when the next big group drops out.
  14. 8 points
    There are a great many of adults in our district that think Woodbadge is BSA4Adults. Barry
  15. 8 points
    My son will be a Scout, like I was in the 80s and 90s, at least in how I referred to myself, how my parents and friends referred to us, etc. We were "scouts", our leaders called us "scouts", they addressed us, instructed us, woke us up, yelled at us, got us in line, as "scouts" ("Scouts, gather 'round," "Scouts line up!" "Scouts, attention," "Scouts, rise and shine!"). I don't care if officially he'll never be a "Boy Scout". The name is the least important part of the program for me. All that matters is what he becomes as a result of going through it.
  16. 8 points
    ... physical evidence to prove that we—a rogue, high-adventure Boy Scouts of America Explorer troop of teenage girls in the 1970s—existed. As a group, we hiked the Appalachian Trail, paddled more than 1,000 miles of rivers in the Carolinas, and climbed some of the highest peaks in the Smokies on horseback. My quest was spurred by the October announcement from the BSA that it would begin accepting girls as Cub and Eagle scouts for the first time in its 107-year history. The media trumpeted that the gender barrier was falling, but I knew the Girl Rangers brought it down more than 48 years ago... Interesting article with photos. https://www.outsideonline.com/2300691/lost-legend-girl-rangers
  17. 8 points
    Boy did I ever derail this thread. Back on topic, my daughter earned her Bobcat last night.
  18. 8 points
    I think we're way off topic at this point, but on the subject of advancement... It kind of seems like no matter what pace a kid takes, it will bother someone. Go too fast and you're missing out on the journey. Go too slow and earn eagle in the 11th hour before turning 18 and they didn't take it seriously, didn't plan ahead, procrastinated, etc., etc., etc. My feeling is if this is supposed to be about the journey, let it be a journey that fits each scout. No two journeys end up being the same. The kids have their list of requirements, but even within that there is a lot of choice and different angles of approach. We want them to become leaders but we don't want then to lead on their own advancement trail? If we're going to say this is still a youth-led program, we should let up on the criticism of how they approach their own advancement. If the benefits of the program are so heavily dependent on time spent in the program, then we should have a requirement on the books that puts more time between ranks. Unless/until that happens, the boys should decide their own pace, whatever works for them, even if that means fast-tracking.
  19. 8 points
    Update: of 17 Tigers 10 will be awarded the rank. 4 never showed up after recruitment and 3 didn't show up but a couple of times. AND I can call em all by name too.
  20. 8 points
    The same reporter broke the news of the Girl Scout letter back to the BSA. She has a source. What I learned is that BSa leadership are clearly struggling with how to create a Boy Scout level parallel program and read scouter.com. *whistles quietly* *opens profile* *changes location to Alaska*
  21. 7 points
    Problem is that national won't improve the situation, they want the increase in Eagles. If national wanted to improve the value, they would point blank say no more MBUs, making summer camp ins summer school, etc. They would allow SMs who know the Scouts didn't earn MBs to not give it to them. And when an EBOR appeal reaches national, AND THEY ACKNOWLEDGE MISTAKES WERE MADE (emphasis) they would make the Eagle redo some of the work BECAUSE HE SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS ADVANCEMENT (emphasis again) and not just give it to him because "you do not penalize the Scout for the mistakes of the adults involved." And, you don't automatically grant a time extension because the Scout's parents threaten a lawsuit.
  22. 7 points
    I can sympathize with your situation. I can also understand why you and he want to be active in this aspect of your scout's life. But, let's keep in mind that scouting is not for us. It isn't for the adults or the parents or our close loved-ones. It is for the kids and there may be, and will be circumstances where we do things for the kids that may either disadvantage the adults or otherwise not be in the adults best interests. If you and your boyfriend feel this strongly about him being an attending adult in activities then I encourage you to do two things. 1. Have him register as an adult volunteer. 2. Have him request an expungement and/or a pardon. This could a strong life lesson for your scout as well as other scouts in the unit. Demonstrate that he is taking the steps to correct his prior transgressions and that he is willing to do the hard work necessary to be an active member of the unit. Lastly, this isn't about what the other adults do in their personal time or what they might be guilty of. This is and should be about your boyfriend "doing his best" to be the best role model he can be to your scout and if that means his involvement is limited due to past behavior (even past behavior that might otherwise be legal today in some states), then what better way to illustrate that actions have consequences and that sometimes life is not fair. How the two of you respond to this situation can either be an exceptional opportunity for growth or an exceptional opportunity to create resentment.
  23. 7 points
    ::Putting on moderator hat combat helmet:: This discussion of who (if anyone) is "dishonest" is over. Now. The discussion of who or what is a "terrorist" or "terrorist organization," at least in the context of people and groups who have not been convicted of such an offense, is also over. Also Now. Thank you all for your cooperation. @RememberSchiff @LeCastor
  24. 7 points
    There is the other side: 1) You have a boy (girl) in scouts. 2) You slowly get sucked into the myth and re-discover your inner boy. 3) Some old scouters or real boy scouts teach you some skills, you get just enough 'official' training to stay our of trouble. 4) You deliver the best program you can, make friends, and gain 100 unofficial nephews. Some inspire you, most are memorable, and a few break your heart. 6) You ignore national unless you hang around the forum or there is a press release. Look the whole world seems to be falling apart, some of us on the front lines are trying to keep the faith in our little corner. Because when you get down to it all real life us local. BSA might implode (and that is what we are mostly griping about here) but Scouting will one way or another will continue. (You know that would sound a whole lot better if Tom Hanks or Jimmy Stewart was saying it.)
  25. 7 points
    But no one says a thing when girls don't want boys in their club house. Then it is a safe space and empowering.
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