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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/16/18 in Posts

  1. 13 points
    LOL..reminds me of the time when I was Cubmaster and a parent called to demand to know when meetings were going to start. I said, "as soon as you volunteer to become a Den Leader"...she got furious and demanded to speak to my "supervisor"...so I handed the phone to my wife.
  2. 8 points
    As with any bully, the solution is simple. Ignore her. Do not respond to any of her emails on this subject. If she confronts you in person, simply tell her kindly and calmly "the issue is already decided." Do not offer up any other explanation, do not attempt to satisfy her demands, do not engage with her on this matter at all. She has absolutely no right nor authority nor legitimate reason to make any of these demands on you nor your son, so just let her scream and holler till her voice is hoarse and she collapses in frustration. These people always tend to dig their own graves, so don't waste your time trying to help with the process. DO make sure you are not condescending nor patronizing about it though; the more polite and civil you are during this episode, the more control you will have over the discussion. And your goal is to eliminate the discussion entirely. Kill her with kindness, and don't give her an inch. Sometimes, the biggest victories are won from the battles you choose not to fight.
  3. 6 points
    Barry, Gender dysphoriais an emotional and psychological condition experienced when a person's gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. It is a recognized condition. So to not support a youth with gender dysphoria will harm that youth. There have been some people who believe that some youth are being diagnosed as gender dysphoria who might not actually have the condition. One must be an expert to determine what is the appropriate diagnosis - something that adult volunteers are not able to do unless they are a child psychiatrist or psychologist. So to best support youth, we as adult volunteers should leave such determinations to true experts and support their conclusions. As to morality, I agree with others - whose moral standards do you use? The BSA does not prefer any religion and is, thus, non-denominational. As a Christian, I am not aware of a scriptural reference to people with gender identity issues. The BSA's stance seems well reasoned and the correct course for this time in history. In the future, there could be research that modifies what is best for a youth with gender dysphoria. At that time, the new policy might need adjustment. I doubt that will be the case but it is possible.
  4. 6 points
    While I firmly oppose BSA's girl decision, I strongly support kindness and sensitivity in personal interactions. Even though their Cub Scout Pack is at fault for breaking fundamental rules about mixed-gender Dens, a kind approach is still merited as the situation gets resolved. A Scout is friendly, courteous, and kind, and nobody should be made to feel like an outcast. First, I'd explain in the friendliest way possible to the girl and her parents that we are excited for her interest in Scouting. Then I'd also explain in the friendliest way possible that because we are a boy-only troop, we are not structured with the right organization and leadership to provide her the Scouting experience that BSA has designed for girls (providing as many or as few supporting details as they like). Finally, I'd offer assistance to help her find a girl-only troop or a linked troop in the area that *is* structured with the right organization and leadership to provide her that great Scouting experience (with an explanation about the rollout beginning in February 2019). If these good-faith gestures made in friendliness are rejected, it would seem clear to me that this girl and her family are not looking for a solution - they are looking for a fight.
  5. 5 points
    Goodness, if only there had been some advance notice of this deadline...
  6. 5 points
    Last week I travelled to West Lafayette to see the Mizzou / Purdue football game. Along for the trip was my family and my brother's family and my sister. Well, during the tailgate I got a kick out of the fact that my boys (ages 27 and 26) used their old Patrol cooler and stove for the tail gate. My oldest was in charge of the grill - burgers for all (he had a steak!) and they cleaned up everything. Their aunts & uncles and cousins were impressed. Their Scout training came in very useful. It brought back a flood of memories of when we were all about 10 years or more younger and the numerous Scouting trips we had - memories that will last a lifetime. I can honestly say the program had a very positive affect on both of my boys - and I think me too!
  7. 5 points
    https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/ is the most up to date location moving forward for the Barriers to Abuse. A one source of truth if you will. The "72 hours rule" is All adults accompanying a Scouting unit who are present at the activity for 72 total hours or more must be registered as leaders. The 72 hours need not be consecutive." The intent of this policy is to protect participants - both youth and adults - and maintain a Safe Scouting environment. It is event centric. Examples of where this applies today in Scouting are resident camps, treks, long term camping. Sorry for any confusion. Can assure you all the member care team is now aligned. As you have bantered, there are mixed messages locally. Some councils may be requiring all folks to be registered, as are some chartered organizations. That EXCEEDS the Barriers to Abuse, and that's okay. So if you are hearing something different, might check to see what your local folks have established. You might hit the link above if you haven't this week and review some to the linked FAQ's. Yours in Scouting, RichardB
  8. 4 points
    Two grandsons new in a cub pack. There are (horrors!) girls. No one seems to notice. They do stuff together. It's almost as if it's not unnatural.
  9. 4 points
    Have fun. If the scouts are not having fun, they will vote with their feet. Keep the helicopter parents in the back and out of the way. Let the youth (with guidance and mentoring) select and be involved with activities that are engaging to them. If the program becomes more school and classwork to get to the vaunted Eagle rank, you will lose many of them Have fun, go outdoors and DO STUFF. Not for advancement sake, not to get this merit badge or that merit badge, because it is fun, challenging, and engaging. The advancement can be a byproduct of what is done, not the main purpose. Go hiking, go climbing, go canoeing, go boating, go through a gorge, go biking, play a wide game, do a lock-in with overnight video games and gym games. Did I mention facilitate HAVING FUN?
  10. 4 points
  11. 4 points
    Based on the variety of opinions expressed here, and seeing what governments and sports organizations have gone through struggling with this- it seems the BSA did something pretty rational. Just let the parents and local leaders work it out. If half- or some significant percentage of doctors and parents feel strongly either way, with no particular expertise (or business) taking sides on this, why would BSA want or need to weigh in? Actually the BSA never actually had a “policy” on this, and they never asked for the birth certificate to be presented in the past 108 years. So all they really did was say they will accept the gender the parents indicate. I think they just want to serve kids and families and frankly, it doesn’t seem to make sense to expect the BSA to be the only organization in the world to come up with a perfect solution to this one.
  12. 4 points
    Yes, I wonder why they did not use "stripper" meaning to reduce or strip layers?
  13. 3 points
    I do propose moving to the language of “Cubbing” and “scouting” to refer to the different programs.
  14. 3 points
    Please note that the Whitlin' Chip and Totin Chip have no specific requirements. There is no BSA list of "do this this way", not like tying knots or cooking or fire building. The teaching of "safe handling" and "good tool useage" is a ultimately a local culture thing. If you are fortunate to have a skilled craftsman to teach your Cubs and Scouts, count yourself lucky. Kids will want to "experiment" . I was at a B&G banquet one evening, helping to hand out the PopCorn Prizes. One young Cub, sold umpteen dollars worth of Popcorn, was awarded a multi blade pocket knife. As the event went on, I saw him pry open ALL the blades, and Presto ! An X-Wing Fighter began zooming around his table ! I paused the festivities, went to his table, asked him directly, "Wow, that's a neat knife. May I see it? " The Cub put the knife down, I picked it up and carefully showed him how to close it , open palm, and then handed it to the dad sitting next to the Cub, saying, "perhaps this can wait until you earn the Whitlin' Chip, eh?" and then went back to the podium and more prizes....
  15. 3 points
    Thank the complaining parents for volunteering to run the Pinewood Derby and tell them you'll forward their names to the Pack Committee for further consideration.
  16. 3 points
    I suspect all the training folks I've worked with over the years would absolutely agree with this statement. What they and I don't agree with is National mandating training and the Council's turning that mandate into a revenue stream.
  17. 3 points
    Who has time for all the record keeping and math?
  18. 3 points
    Not a huge fan of massive troop "rules". Never had one, do not plan to have one. Once you have written "guidelines" one will need to follow them and then you get boxed into a corner. Sort of like the academic zero tolerance policies. Huge difference when a kid goes camping with dad and accidentally leaves an axe in the car as compared to kid who brings a knife to school to settle a score. One must look at intent and hopefully be able to judge and work with kids as individuals. We have a large troop and literally have only one written policy, and that concerns cell phones and it was written this year. Other than that, we try to follow the basic tenants of BSA policy. I mean Good Lord there are two huge tomes, the GTA and GTSS which are both 100+ pages each. If that is not enough for you, not sure an additional document will really help
  19. 3 points
    It was interesting to see the thread about misconceptions as I had deliberately logged on to post something. yesterday I spent 40 minutes on the phone and my Group Scout Leader (my manager, don’t think you have an equivalent) had spent 2 hours on the phone with the mum of a scout who was having a bit of a moan. She had various things to say but they all stemmed from the fact that her daughter has not made PL or APL yet. Her daughter is disappointed. She’s not the first and won’t be the last and in herself is not a problem. The problem is that her mum does not accept how scouts operates. Both myself and the GSL have tried explaining that our job is not to make all the decisions of the scouts for them. We advise them, we explain what they should consider, we will give our opinion if asked. If there is a safety or discipline issue or other very good reason to do so we will over ride youth decisions. What we won’t do is simply over rule them because they chose differently to what we would have chosen. In this case this scout would make a perfectly good APL. She’s enthusiastic, well behaved, polite etc. And yes she could probably do a better job than at least two of my current crop of APLs. Fact remains though that at this stage the PLC chose them and not her. And mum does not accept that. Ive explained to mum that’s if I over rule every decision I disagree with there’s no point having PLs or a PLC as they wouldn’t be making decisions, it would just be me demanding that they do it my way. What would be the point? And Mum does not accept that. I know that BSA put more emphasis than we do on the youth led process. Do you ever get problems with parents wanting you to over rule the PLC? How do you tend to handle it?
  20. 3 points
    I appreciate the optimism. 😊 My personal observation and experience -- especially with Scouters -- is that when a local, solvable problem is identified, there are always folks with creative solutions or just stamina who are ready to jump in and try it. The "empowerment" issue is not about them -- it is about convincing the people with authority over that area to say "yes -- go for it." I have seen far too many skilled, eager volunteers give up on solving a problem because the person or group that holds the keys or writes the checks won't approve the effort, or won't decide, or won't even listen. That's where we need a "method."
  21. 3 points
    That is a good description, based on what I've read on the BSA Polaris Method website and the content of the videos. The fundamental weakness is "the expectation that those employees and volunteers are then empowered to go solve those problems." It isn't an absence of individual employee and volunteer empowerment that is preventing problems from being solved. It is that, with minor, strictly local exceptions, the problems that Scouters and units face on a daily basis arise from societal issues, demographics, program design, program policies, institutional inertia, and council budgets -- conditions that cannot be changed or corrected by employee and volunteer empowerment.
  22. 3 points
    I agree with Peter Thiel 's statement in the posted video that reformation of college education will come from the outside. IMO, outside from education consumers, parents and students, in high schools. My younger son is not attending high school, he is taking courses at a local community college - better teachers, better courses. He has friends doing the same, other friends attending charter or private schools , others being home-schooled, and still others though physically in a public school are taking Virtual High School classes from Stanford or BYU. If grassroot's educational consumerism can prevail over the state DOE and teacher union, reformation of college education will follow. My $0.02,
  23. 3 points
    This happens a lot with SM changes. I have helped and observed a lot of troops where the new SM wanted to change the program and I have learned that change pretty much comes from the new and younger Scouts. I now advise SMs in your situation to pacify the older Scouts with the program they want and build your new program with the new Scouts. Older Scouts (in this case 13 and older) simply don’t like change. Building new with younger Scouts is a lot less stress on everybody. It seems like two groups in one program will be a hassle, but you will find the older Scouts will pretty much take care of themselves. They will fall in for Troop assembly then go do their thing. The ones who want to advance will come to you. Ironically leaving the older Scouts to their program is the Patrol Method you are wanting anyway. They just aren’t great role models for the younger Scouts. In fact you can present the idea to them as an experiment and become the older Scouts hero. Trust me, they will love you for it. Barry
  24. 3 points
    I don't see the relevance of that article to my understanding of BSA policy related to transgender youth. BSA only goes as far as accepting the gender written on the application. BSA makes no suggestions on what types of therapy to use, nor any timeline for transition , nor if any particular approach is good, bad, or indifferent. From reading the article I can understand your emotion regarding the topic, and the way the AAP guidance is phrased. And maybe it is just me, but I don't see the strong connection to BSA. You of course are free to see it differently than I do. If BSA made such statements and pushed for any child questioning who they are to get gender reassignment surgery ASAP, then I would think they had gone too far.
  25. 3 points
    If we aren’t supposed to eat animals, then why are they made out of meat?