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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/22/13 in Posts

  1. 21 points
    To everyone on scouter.com, Now that girls are already in the cub program and they are about to enter the scout program it's time to welcome them. That's a nice way of saying stop complaining about girls in the BSA. Every thread that is about girls entering troops has gone off the rails. There have been complaints about how the decision was made, the negative impact on boys, what's wrong with the BSA, and just a lot of anger. I understand that people want to complain in general but we can't have complaints about the decision to include girls any more. The reason is simple. No scout should feel unwelcome in this program. Any scout that abides by the Scout Oath and Law, or their parents, should never feel like they shouldn't belong. When people on this forum complain that the surveys were rigged or that girls will ruin it for the boys then the message every girl gets is that they aren't welcome and that their being in the BSA is a mistake. Now that girls are here the complaints need to stop and we have to welcome them. A scout is a friend to all. I'm not saying there can't be any griping anymore. The distinction between what I'm talking about and general frustration is simple. If a 12 year old girl reads a comment that says girls shouldn't be in the scout program of the BSA, or that the decision was a mistake, then that's what I'm talking about. For example, saying that you won't go to a summer camp or camporees where there are girls is just telling the girls they aren't welcome. Saying that your scouts have to get eagle and get out before the girls arrive is just saying girls aren't welcome. Saying that national didn't listen to everyone's opinion about girls is just saying nobody wants girls in troops. No girl in the BSA should read that on this forum. This argument is over. The BSA decided. It's time to be Obedient. For those that want to keep arguing there are a few options: 1) Accept the change. Be curious and see how this change plays out with an open heart. Girls are scouts and they're in the BSA to have fun with their friends in the outdoors. Change is always rough but it keeps happening. 2) Leave. Stand by your principles and realize it's time to move on and find another way to volunteer your time. BSA troops have changed and there's no going back. 2.1) Don't engage in these threads. For those that still want to be a part of the BSA but still aren't happy with girls: Understand that complaining about girls in the BSA has a negative impact on those girls, or their parents, that are reading these threads. Learn to let it go. 3) Fight it. You can PM me, the other moderators, or @SCOUTER-Terry if you don't like this decision. I'll be honest, we're tired of watching these threads. You can also just ignore this and keep complaining. Well, you can try but you're just going to make yourself bitter. And we'll remove your posts and ban you from this forum if you keep it up. @LeCastor, @RememberSchiff, @John-in-KC, @desertrat77, @NJCubScouter.
  2. 18 points
    Our family came terrifyingly close to tragedy last night. We were on our way home from a birthday dinner for my nephew when my cell rang and it was my oldest son, who had been in a car accident. He was still trapped in the wreckage. He had stopped on the Interstate for another wreck, and a youngster plowed into the back of his car doing at least 65 mph. I immediately turned around and headed his way and got trapped in the traffic gridlock, as we watched police cars, ambulances and wreckers try to get to the scene. Then got another call saying he was in the ambulance headed to the ER. As traffic began to move, we could barely recognize the remains of his Honda Accord sitting on the side of the road, the rear half of the car flattened all the way up to the driver's seat. The hospital was only a mile away, but being trapped in that traffic was one of the most agonizing hours of our lives. When my wife saw what was left of his car, she fell apart. Bottom line, he is alive and well, save for a nasty bump on the head and a concussion. We all fell apart when we realized that, somewhere in that twisted mass of metal and broken glass, is my 3 year old grandson's car seat. He had stayed home safe with Mom last night. In all, four cars were involved and everyone walked away. The state trooper who found us in the ER said it was a "Miracle" that he was alive. As far as we know, alcohol and drugs were not involved...it was simply a case of not paying attention. I asked if he was on his cell phone and the trooper said, "aren't they all?" The other driver was charged with reckless driving. As I recount this, the tears are flowing at how close I came to losing a Son. The Hand of God was surely upon him last night. Thank you, Jesus for protecting him and everyone else. Thank you Honda. Thanks for listening and letting me vent. God bless us, everyone.
  3. 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.
  4. 13 points
    After years of watching her 3 brothers have all the fun, my daughter has decided she wants to join Scouts BSA. My wife and I (both WB trained) have marshaled enough support in our community to start a non-linked Scouts BSA troop for her and her friends... We turn in all of our charter paperwork on Thursday, and I will officially be the Scoutmaster of Troop 19. Wish me / us luck! -DK
  5. 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.
  6. 13 points
    My breaking point happened 10+ years ago when My wife, who volunteered on our crew's committee, came home from a youth protection class where a fellow student tossed out the, "I thought we had Girl Scouts for girls." One scouter told me I was wrecking the program (promoting venturing) when in fact I was giving our boys more hiking/camping hours. Adults blew smoke over local adult-contrived boundaries that youth rightly found to bIe stupid Yet on each adventure, in a dozen different ways each time, I reaped youths' smiles. I broke. I did. I broke in favor of as many youth in the field under my guidance ... with or without BSA. Today, very close friends lost their son (and Son #2 lost a buddy) in a bicycle-meet-car accident. I've been on the verge of tears all day. I regret not having more hikes with this young man, not encouraging his dad to let him try our crew (in spite of his issues ... he had a few), not doing more to be his mentor. Compared to that loss, BSA's organizational blips mere trifles. So, my organization is bending and flexing to get me and other adults with integrity in touch with more youth? That's not a breaking point. That's a building point.
  7. 12 points
    Hi everyone, it's me, again, a moderator. It seems that the temperature on social media has gone up in the past week. I've seen some really ugly things posted on facebook recently by scouters I know. Bad enough that I'm wondering why I should even be in scouting anymore, much less trying to keep the peace on this forum. But then I remember that scouting is good for the world and I try for another day. While things are not too ugly here, I see people talking past each other. Buried down in the core of this argument is something worth discussing but instead people get hung up on peripheral comments that were either not well thought out or taken the wrong way. Either way they aren't helping getting any sort of solution to the core of the problem. What is very clear to me is that before anyone can deal with bigotry they have to first master Courteous.
  8. 12 points
    I've been thinking a lot about this over the past few days. I do indeed see things differently, though not in the ways many seem to think. I know this may not be the thread for this, but it is in response to a comment made in this thread, so I knew not where else to post it - moderators may remove it to a more appropriate thread without objection from me if that better serves the integrity of this topic. First of all, people are trying to "sequence" events, trying to determine which came first - a church move to exit Scouting, or incoming policy changes which the church found objectionable. I think the question is at this point irrelevant. Asking how we got to this point is no longer what matters - the question is, where are we now, and where will that lead us? For the church, growth continues throughout the world, in many lands at astronomical rates - Latin America, Western Africa, the Philippines - all are seeing incredible growth, and such continues in all other nations and domestically as well. It makes sense that we would want to unify all our members, and that starts with teaching the children (something every Scouter will appreciate). By unifying our programs, we are unifying youth all over the world in a shared program that will build harmony of faith, ideals, fellowship, understanding, and morality. Scouting has been a wonderful asset in helping the church understand the essentials of building successful foundations in the growth of young men - now we are equiped to create an equally effective program, but centered on our own unchanged and unchanging moral beliefs. For Scouting, those core moral beliefs are no longer clear. Unlike the church, which has a clear leadership structure based on one shared doctrinal foundation, Scouting must share the moral and philosophical beliefs of many hundreds of religions and ideologies - and far more so, it can be affected by popular opinion and partisan agendas. When the moral fiber of its society is srong, Scouting itself is all the stronger for it, because its leadership is inherently built out of an amalgamation of shared ideals. But when that society becomes divisive, demanding changes to the core values which Scouting once clung to, Scouting itself does not have the internal structural integrity required to withstand the pressure - in other words, Scouting does not have the inherent authority to repulse outside influences forever. The Boy Scouts of America has held out far longer than most other world Scouting organizations (Scouting UK's recent push to make its Scouts "employable" reflects drastically a complete abandonment of Baden-Powell's purpose of building men of character and not material ambition). For over 100 years, the BSA still believed that boys needed a special place of their own, a place where their unique character, temperment, energy and zeal for life could find a safe, healthy outlet - a place where they could commune with each other, with nature, and with God. Now, its internal structure, which was originally designed to openly allow invested, caring adults to share a guiding hand in protecting that environment, has been hijacked and usupred by conspiring men and women determined to use the BSA and its proud heritage as a platform from which to push their own selfish and destructive societal agendas - and the young men of this country are their primary targets. Now, it seems, they are winning greater and greater victories. Now girls are coming in, crowding out the safe space boys should have enjoyed by signing up for a program that wasn't designed for them, and which simply will not serve them like it serves boys. And so eventually changes will be made, and boys will slowly lose all the benefits that Scouting was meant to offer them. They will become marginalized in their own program. They will eventually be taught in Scouting that immoral behaviors should be tolerated, even celebrated. And soon this organization will no longer be the Boy Scouts of America. They will cling to that name for a while, till the advantages of that name are used up, and eventually it too is dropped. But already, that orginal program of over one hundred years, is almost gone. It may become a fun program, it may become an instructive program - but will not be the same program. That program, the Boy Scouts of America, the one founded by Baden-Powell, Beard, Seton, West, Hillcourt - that program does not exist anymore. The images you see in the Rockwell paintings, of boys in the woods and on the streets, in churches, communities, shelters, hospitals, backyards and living rooms, boys camping, fishing, serving, helping, caring - they are of an organization I believe will soon no longer exist. And so. Whereas before I felt that I was sad to leave, I realize now that to say Scouting is losing me would be a falsehood. Not that losing one volunteer would make any difference, but that I - that our nation - we are losing Scouting. The quote above stated "Who the BSA admits is less important to me than the core mission of bringing Scouting to the youth in the program." And this is just the tragedy. Scouting will no longer be brought to them, because Scouting is not simply the activities, the achievements, the adventures. It is the boys themselves who for 108 years have been blessed and protected within this inspired program. And now they no longer have it; it belongs now not to them, but to outside powers making changes that the boys cannot control, and cannot stop; and being young, they do not realize fully what is being stolen from them, nor will they be given the power to rescue it themselves. So yes, at the end of next year I will no longer be a part of Scouting. I will continue to deliver the program will all my heart, mind, and strength until then, within my unit, as the walls crash around me. But I will be sad (albeit not surprised) to find that I have stayed in my place, while Scouting has moved to a different world altogether. These decisions have not "overshadowed the core program." I believe they reject it entirely, but will inevitably use it only as long as it is useful to them. I only pray for the sake of the boys who remain that such will last for a small time longer at least. In many units with dedicated, inspired and visionary leaders, it may last much longer. I believe there will be many pockets of successful, true Scouting scattered all over the nation, and I look forward to hearing their stories of success against the waves of compelled change. But I will have other battles to fight then, and other programs to nurture, and other flocks to tend. I hope however that I and those brave units will be able to depend on each other for support and encouragement whenever we may we call upon each other. My prayer is that those future alliances will ever hold strong against whatever troubles may come.
  9. 11 points
    Well, most of them aren't very tall to begin with. 😁
  10. 11 points
    The friendship knot, especially tied loose like those will come undone very easily, you only need to pull one tail out and the whole thing falls apart. I blame the World Jamboree of course, all those foreign degenerates with their casual unit t-shirts, friendship knots, and gaudy patches, leading your fine upstanding smart Boy Scouts astray, and now they've taken the trend back to their units, spreading the abborance like a virus.
  11. 11 points
    It's ironic that the BSA claims it knows how to develop leadership.
  12. 11 points
    While there is less community it certainly isn't less relevant (look at suicide rates over the past 50 years), and I think that's the key to your last question: what image should the BSA project? There may be fewer parents interested in developing responsibility and self sufficiency in their kids, but the BSA isn't even close to getting the attention of those that are left. But I do agree that the image problem is a wreck. Part of the problem is the need for some better PR. Maybe we can get our UK friends to ask the Duchess of Cambridge if she'd pop on over and visit some scout troops around here. Unfortunately, the bigger issue is we're stuck in the middle of the culture war. Fifteen years ago all the liberals I knew viewed the BSA as a youth military development organization, Jr Jr ROTC, if you will. And while they still do, now the conservatives see us as morally bankrupt. Who wants to put their kids in that mess? And before anyone says "that's not my troop!" it's the image we have. And yes, this image is compounded by the fiscal incompetence of national. People with little or no experience with scouts are who the message needs to be focused on. So, the culture war, which led to the enormous split in this country, is getting worse and the BSA is a lightning rod for it. In the meantime there are parents looking for healthy activities for their kids. Talk about needing leadership at the highest level. Kool-aid drinkers need not apply. Here's a message: Not only a message but a way to focus a program that has gotten bloated. The simplest way I can describe the bloat in the current program is to consider a very old idea that I'm paraphrasing: Nobody cares what you know or think, they only care about what you do. Put another way, the methods don't support the aims as well as they could. In a nutshell, every method needs to be gone over to see what is supporting the aims and what is getting in the way. Since the BSA doesn't even describe how the methods lead to the aims, I'm fairly sure they don't do this. Here's an off the top of my head view. First, advancement: Other than safety related issues, all of the describe and discuss requirements are nothing but a drag on having fun. They do not promote fun, leadership, independence, or responsibility so chuck them. Everyone knows that most of the requirements to get eagle are just a slog of check boxes. That's what's killing the program. Next, add requirements that develop creative problem solving, both individually and as a patrol. By creative problem solving I mean find a problem and fix it. The eagle project should be the last in a series of problem solving projects and not just the only one. Give the scouts more freedom and encourage them to pick their own projects. A first class requirement could be to organize an outdoor activity for your patrol and lead your patrol in that activity. I know, this is close to a very old requirement but I like it. Along with the above, to encourage community, teamwork, and just plain getting along with each other, make a few rank requirements be for the entire patrol. Advancement is completely personal and yet we're trying to develop people skills. To support this, make some MB's that are patrol based. So, as a patrol, learn a skill and then go do it. That's a simple way to encourage patrol method, do something different, and do something other than cook as a patrol. It could be as simple as making some requirements that encourage a patrol to do a MB together and follow through with an activity based on it. The MB program is a hidden gem that has been sidelined and obfuscated by boring requirements and MB mills. Use them to be part of the program. Next, quit trying to teach everything a kid should know with advancement. Cyber security, nutrition, Citizenship in the Nation, etc are things that are either taught in school or are so far from having fun learning to be responsible that they're just a drag. We can't be everything for everyone. Figure out where the line is. As for the adult method, the adults don't understand the program. The program is how the methods lead to the aims and we know how well that's taught. So teach it. Next, it's easy for a troop to get in a rut. I have never seen any training from the BSA that describes typical problems and how to solve them. They only teach skills that you have to do. So there are no case studies in how to fix a failing troop. Many people here say there are plenty of good units and I agree, but there are a lot more mediocre units. JTE was supposed to help those units. It hasn't and it won't. Giving people metrics won't teach them how to solve their problems. It's like telling an alcoholic to just drink less. Outdoor method: I think kids still like it. Wilderness survival skills are always a hit. However, there are issues. First, IOLS is way too short and fewer adults know the skills they need to teach. Take half of woodbadge and put it back to teaching outdoor skills and making fun activities using them. And if scouts are tired of the same campouts, how about a hike somewhere fun? Or star gazing from inside your sleeping bag? It doesn't need to only be a campout. The biggest challenge and biggest reward is getting scouts to learn how to solve their own problems and come up with their own events. That should be a big focus of all the methods starting at the first rank. Uniform: Just simplify it so the scouts can own it and afford them. I would much rather see a $10 shirt that a scout can raise his own money to pay for, and 1/10th the patches, so the scouts can put them on themselves (how about POR and rank pins?), then the high tech bling boards we have now. Quit thinking of it as a dress uniform and more of a field uniform and scouts will start wearing them in the field, and maybe even to school. There is nothing inherently wrong with scouts, the aims, or the methods, but there is a huge need for real leadership that is willing to ask some hard questions and get away from the mindset that we have to do something because that's how we always have done it. I completely agree with the comments about changing the hiring practices, controlling costs, and giving volunteers more room to innovate. It won't be a simple fix, but it's doable with the right people.
  13. 11 points
    I had my ECOH earlier today (right as I got home from staffing a camp, I was and still am tired), and it was a great experience! I thought I didn’t want one at first, but now I realized it would’ve been a mistake if I didn’t. We had a dinner buffet and a cake. I was at camp, so I wasn’t involved in much of the rehearsals or anything but it went pretty good. I was shocked with the town officials coming and everything.
  14. 11 points
  15. 11 points
    A patrol with two adults supervising it is no longer a patrol. It's a den.
  16. 11 points
    Hello Everyone... Sorry to bring an old post back to life, but I wanted to share an update, and maybe crow a bit. It started out as a slog, but our 2017-2018 program year wound up great. We did lose scouts when we decided to raise dues. I expected that, but I think it was okay. It cleaned out a lot of the people who were really using us as a babysitting service. I feel a little bad to say it, but people find tome and money for the things that are important to them. And scouting just wasn't important to the families that left. But most families, when they saw a budget and a breakdown of what we spend per scout each year, and where it goes... and how it still leaves us short if we only ran on dues, were more than receptive. We had great turn outs and effort for all our fundraising this year. So much so that we are gifting an AED to our local camp, buy the next years neckerchief slide for all scouts, cover the fee for all the adult volunteers going to resident camp this summer, AND, we almost have enough for a new PWD Track. It was amazing to watch the remaining parents go from disinterested to engaged as the year progressed. I stopped all the blah blah at meeting starts... Instead we did a few quick jokes or a skit and then broke into dens. Including the pledge, Oath, Law, and a joke or two, we'd be into dens meetings in 5-10 minutes max. Kids LOVED it. We did have some snafu's as parents had to retrain themselves a bit. All info went out via the facebook page and scoutbook. But eventually it was all good. Now when people say they missed something, they also tell me 'I forgot to check my email'. Awesome. I know you guys said not to worry about JTE, but it turns out that if you focus on running an engaging and active pack... JTE takes care of itself anyway. We hit gold without even thinking about it. And I was kind of amazed. I sat down one morning with lots of coffee and one of my ACMs. We were prepared to take all day to fill out the paperwork. Hah! I'm not sure what was so hard about it... we were done in an hour. We actually had to wait a while for council to get its ducks in a row to finish it. Even with the big drop in membership, getting our leaders trained, and getting kids to more activities more than off set it. I've got a whole list of great stuff we managed to do. And I have to thank you all again here for the great advice. I didn't take all of it, but I took most of it, and it worked... It worked so well, that I'm actually stepping down and leaving the pack! One of the ACMs and myself are restarting a pack that went defunct several years ago in our own town. We'll pull a few kids and leaders with us, but everyone is on board. We've had more parents step up and take on various leadership roles so we won't be leaving gaping holes. They have great systems and people in place now, and even though there's always more that can be done... it's a strong, committed team with supportive engaged parents! So I'm headed to a new pack with my sons and their friends. I'm excited that we'll be doing service projects and activities in our town, for their friends, families, and neighbors. And the town is super excited too. The masonic lodge is sponsoring us. The American Legion has already asked us to march in their parades and help place flags around town and on local graves next year. The town manager wants us to march in the fall festival and sell popcorn and meat sticks afterwards. The Masons are giving us the entire 3rd floor of their building. The principal at the elementary school, the town, the legion, and the fire department have all offered space as well. I look around and see near endless opportunities for service projects. And I'm really hoping that by having a pack right in town again, more would be scouts will be able to join us. What started off as a mountain of problems has become an embarrassment of riches, LOL. Now we'll have two solid packs in our district! Even better... I'm just going to be the ACM in my new pack, and my former ACM is taking over as cubmaster. And 2 of the other leaders coming with us are also joining us us for some more training: We're all 'headed back to Gillwill' this summer! Scouter life is good! Thank you thank you thank you all for your advice and encouragement!
  17. 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.
  18. 11 points
    Three generations of Eagle Scouts happened tonight.
  19. 10 points
    No dog in this fight (BTW - do not support dog fighting but it's a great old expression) as our unit has eschewed any camporees, etc. The judging of "best" troop or "best" patrol at events when there are NOT objective measurements is suspect at best. Have a camporee competition where Scouts paddle a canoe out and back, lowest time wins, great. Tie 8 knots in a relay, lowest time wins, super. When you start adding mystery "Bonus" points for patrol spirit, team effort, appearance, etc etc, then the competition becomes no longer a competition, but an anointing by the camporee adults of who they think (or feel?) should win. The Scouts can see through this sham very quickly
  20. 10 points
    (Long true story, stay to the end) Surreal lunch today for me. It brought bake memories that had slowly faded from my memory. In September of 2016, I was on a bike ride with my loving wife and a group of riders passed us. Moments later, there was an accident, a horrible accident. The rider in front had a blowout and crashed, next thing we see is a rider fly over the barrier on the bridge and fall 50 feet onto limestone. Most were in shock, and my co-worker got down to him to help him. I called 911, started directing traffic and someone called for someone who knew CPR. I raced down thinking the worst. (I was surprised I was the only one trained in CPR and First Aid) When I got down there, the rider was lying in a crumpled ball. Bones exposed through his skin, blood, helmet crushed, glasses crushed. He was alive somehow, in incredible pain and not making a lot of sense. My friend is holding him still and talking with him. He remains incredibly calm. It was horrible, he didn't need CPR but it was amazing he was still alive. How could this really be happening.....Paramedics finally show up after what felt like forever. I meet them at the top of the hill and help carry bags to the victim. The paramedic is shocked he is still alive (told the victim John later that he thought he was going to see a dead body). They take his BP and there is no BP. It is bad, really bad. Lung collapses and they re-inflate it as they carry him off. After what seems like forever the helicopter arrives and takes him away...... We think the worst. My co-worker checks in with him a few days later and he is living. No way he will ride again, no way he will never walk again..... Major head injuries, no clue what happened. Well, 2.5 years later, my co-worker and I have lunch with him today. John walks in and looks amazing. You would never know he was in an accident. He is fit, just ran 6 miles at a 9 minute pace. Hiked 56 miles in the Grand Canyon this last summer. Mentally sharp, just blows us away. He asks us to tell him what happened. We tell him and he is shocked to hear us tell him. He really has no idea what happened to him. We hear about his recovery and it is just inspiring. He shows us a picture of him standing with his xrays in front of him. His xrays look like the terminator. Rods and pins throughout his body (One rod in his femur from his knee to hip, ankle, wrists, hip, elbow). He fell so hard that it tore his aorta, so that had to be patched up as well. He tells us how this changed his life in such a positive way. He was not in a great place when the accident happened, recently divorced after 18 years. His son was 11(same age as my son) Separated from his kids, busy working a lot. He says it has changed his perspective on life. He appreciates everything everyone has done for him. He tells us you never know when it is your day. Live life to the fullest, enjoy time with your family. If I ever complain about something being hard, I have zero excuse. John's story is just amazing... wow. People live life for today, don't put off life until tomorrow. So when people ask me why I am so involved in his scouting experience and would camp in the snow or canoe 50+ miles, this is why.
  21. 10 points
    The Boy Scouts of America national organization is not the Scouting Movement, nor are the local councils. The Scouting Movement is made up of the youth and their volunteer leaders out there in the schools and church basements and hiking trails and canoes and food pantries and local parades. Families join local troops and packs because they are drawn in by the good reports of their friends and neighbors and a yearning to do something meaningful. Scouting existed in America well before the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated. Maybe this is an opportunity to remember that Scouting does not emanate from Irving, Texas, or even from local council offices. Maybe this is an opportunity to remember that the game of Scouting was originally played with hand-me-down military uniforms and hand-crafted equipment, in fields and parks and meeting spaces open to the public, with one simple guidebook for implementing a simple idea. That idea is as valid today as when it was first tested in the early years of the last century, and is needed as much or more now as it was then. And it is not at all dependent upon some corporation's financial woes.
  22. 10 points
    Thankfully I gave a copy to the district with the signatures and my reviewer gave me it no problem. He was such a great guy! After I go to council to get everything scanned the report signed, I’ll be scheduling my EBOR!
  23. 10 points
    Follow-up: Assembly was this last weekend. My son went through Ordeal and did great IMHO. The old SM was there but didn't interact with him at all so that was perfect. Best thing of all, my son came home super jazzed about OA and Scouting. So it was a great outcome.
  24. 10 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.
  25. 10 points
    I haven't been around the forums for about a year. I was too busy with the Troop, the Crew, raising a son and working a paying job in between all of that. I also figured there would be a lot of drama with all of the changes in the BSA program. I came back yesterday only to realize that, according to most of the threads and posts on the forum, THE SKY IS FALLING, SCOUTING IS DOOMED and everyone is RUNNING, not walking, FOR THE EXITS. Just WOW. Former House Speaker Tip O'Neal would say that all politics are local, I would say all Scouting is local. Scouting is thriving where I am. The Troop had six Eagles this year - many of which started Cub Scouts together in the pack (and unfortunately, all of whom are graduating). We had eight Webelos crossover into the Troop. Net of incoming and outgoing, we are around 45. The three other Troops in the area reported a increase in the number of crossovers. The Crew is doing great and expanding its membership and having a lot of youth-planned and youth-led adventures. In the Troop, we continue to be extremely boy-led and the patrol method has taken hold. Ask any Scout who is the most important leader in the troop... four years ago it would be the SM, two years ago the SPL and now it is the PL. We picked up 4 ASMs this year, all of whom really get and are excited about boy-led (part of the reason is that my NYLT trained son functioned as a ad hoc Den Chief for the last couple of months of their time as Webelos and the adults were more than glad to have him teach them the skills they were learning). The new crossover Scouts accompanied the Troop on a Wilderness Survival campout in the Pine Barrens in May. It dropped down to 20 degrees that night. The next campout featured a bear wandering into our campsite as they cooked pizzas in Dutch Ovens and a 10 mile hike that was advertised as being "just over five miles" (my bad... I went from memory rather than checking the map. They keep coming back and seem more excited as a result of their adventures. As one Scout said, "this is what it means to be a Boy Scout." As I did their Scoutmaster Conferences for the Scout rank, one Scout told me he loves Scouts and that it the only reason he looks forward to Tuesday nights (and confessed that he had piano lessons in the afternoon). We have a Scout with Downs Syndrome and a Scout confined to a wheel chair. Every Tuesday they are among true friends and it is amazing to see the Scout Oath and Scout Law at work among the boys. I already have two boys who have challenged me to chess matches during Summer Camp. My son finished up his POR as ASPL and is looking forward to being on staff at summer camp (he was a counselor in training last summer). When he gets back, he is looking to do his Eagle project as a 10th grader. I've told him once he gets his Eagle, he will be a JASM. He is also finishing his stint as the Crew's President and is bummed he is missing some trips over the summer while he is at camp. Every time I see the Crew together, I'm just astonished at the bonds of friendship. It really has become a place where a bunch of goofballs can relax and be themselves and feel truly accepted. Fixating on what National comes out with and then looking at the worst possible implications doesn't help the Scouts. One of my favorite sayings (stolen from Richard Bach) is "says can't when means won't." That is what my reaction is to a lot of the posts of gloom and doom. Whatever the decision, rule or guidance, we decide how to implement it so that we deliver the program we know the Scouts deserve. Allowing girls to form Troops by National is neutral. How it works is dependent on how may of the folks here on the forums who know the right way to run a program step up. It is only a nightmare if implemented poorly. We need to convince people that the only way to do this is to do it right. It is up to us to build the groundwork necessary to have youth-led, patrol-based Scouting that focuses on being a game with a purpose played by youth in the outdoors. We are the coaches and it is up to us to help the Youth learn to play the game correctly. Our CO is implementing it right -- separate girl Troop, separate meeting night and letting the youth lead by deciding how much interaction they want to have between the two Troops and the Crew. We have had an amazing response of youth and adults to the idea. Build it and they will come. Whether we agree or disagree with the decision to allow girls, we should do everything in our power to make it succeed - not for the sake of National, but for the good of the Scouts we have promised to serve. The new G2SS guidelines are only an issue if you make it one. Our CO's youth protection policy for many years required two-deep adult leadership in patrol meetings. We work to have adults that are trained in what boy-led actually means (you observe and then talk to the leader after the meeting as a coach) and what the patrol method is (they are the cornerstone of the Troop). We have Patrol Leaders who are trained (by the older youth leaders in the Troop) in the leadership concepts of boy-led, patrol method and servant leadership. That prevents a leadership vacuum that adults instinctively find the need to fill. We let parents know that Scouting is a safe place to fail - and we let Scouts know it is better to try and fail then not to try at all. The adults and youth practice the Scout Oath and Scout Law -- it is all there and it works. On outings, we have enough adults to accompany the Scouts. We train the adults to be observers. The adults are last in line on the trail. The youth are in front, with a newer Scout leading and an older Scout guiding him. That is the way it is supposed to be. The last question I ask at Scoutmaster conferences is "are you having fun?" My answer is a resounding yes. I'm excited to see the boys take responsibility and lead the Troop. I'm excited to see the Crew grow into proactive leadership and form amazing bonds. I loved going to SeaBase with the Troop, I've loved sleeping in Adirondack shelters in 15 degrees as it snowed; I loved doing the Wilderness Survival campout; I've loved having guys over my house to starts fires using magnifying glasses, fire pistons, potassium permanganate and glycerin, batteries and steel wool and a bow drill; I loved going whitewater rafting with the Crew and I'm looking forward to a week at summer camp and a long weekend kayaking trip in Upstate New York. Best of all, I love the responses I get from Scouts when I ask them if they are having fun. I've learned so much about the right way to do things on this forum from @Stosh @qwazse @TAHAWK and others. Every time I become frustrated with adults -- be them in our Troop, District, Council or National - I remember why I"m doing what I'm doing. It is for the Scouts... my Scouts.
  26. 10 points
    I have been passionate about Scouting for my whole life, but my motivation is driven entirely from interaction with the boys. I know there are many Scouters out there who derive great personal satisfaction from their relationships with other Scouters. BSA seems almost like a fraternal order to them. This is going to sound terrible and I mean no offense to anyone on this forum, but I really hate hanging out with other Scouters. That is why I have always dodged things like Wood Badge. If a Scouting event is not centered on the boys, I'd rather spend my time at home remodeling my kitchen - lol. Once again - please forgive my offense with this honest confession.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 9 points
    He turns 18 in a couple of months. I watched him go up and receive a couple of MB’s that he has earned. The SM asked him to talk about his Eagle Project that he is going to try to get completed over the next two months. He is such a confident and well spoken young man. Scouting had a big part to play in that...leadership roles in the troop (including SPL), weekends camping with his troop, weeks at summer camp, working a summer at summer camp, a trip to the National Jamboree, relationships with his adult leaders. I am positive that these things have been net positives for him in his growth to being a young man. I am so happy that he came home with the “flyer” in the 1st grade. It has been a wonderful journey....one that I was with him on through Cubs and one where I have been more behind him in Boy Scouts. He is not a gung-ho Scout...honestly, if I had said “Hey, you are busy....you don’t have to be a member if you don’t want to” he would have quit in a heartbeat. But he stuck it out and hopefully will make it to Eagle....but if he doesn’t that is ok too. I used to read you guys posting that statement and I would think no way but I get it now. It really is about the journey. But....I really do hope he makes it. 🙂 Thank you guys for providing this opportunity for the youth of your nation. It matters.
  31. 9 points
    Today was a long but good day. My Facebook Memory for today was May 28, 2014. My oldest attended his first PLC as the PL of the New Scout Patrol. i commented how he was a little overwhelmed at times, but represented his patrol well. He did a really good job as PL. So good in fact, that when his term as PL ended, he was nominated for, and won the SPL position, beating out slightly older and experienced Scouts (troop he was in at the time was 2 years olds and the oldest Scouts were 13) Well tonight, he had his Eagle BOR. Paperwork is being cent to the council tomorrow, and onwards for national confirmation. Here's the funny thing. I knew since he became SPL at 11 he was going to make it. I admit I tried to talk him out of being SPL at 11. I talked about the challenges he would be facing, especially as an 11 year old. But the last time I tried to talk him out of it, he said something that made me realized he got everything we try to teach these Scouts, summed up nicely as servant leadership. he told me, "Dad, the troop elected me SPL, I can't let them down. I gotta do the best job I can for them." Life at the moment is very good.
  32. 9 points
  33. 9 points
    I think you treat this at face value. We are here to serve the Scouts. If a Scout calls you up and says he'd like to visit your troop and even join, you tell him the time and place and welcome him. While I understand the feeling that you should tell the other Scoutmaster, I would suggest that you do not. This is not a situation where you actively pursued the Scout. As such, a change of troop is hard enough. If you tell the Scoutmaster, that may result in added pressure on the Scout. This is the Scout's journey and it's the Scouts choice who to tell and when. Now, after the Scout joins your troop there is nothing wrong with a courtesy call to the Scoutmaster to let them know. At that time, if you learn something as a Scouter you can certainly pass it along - that is assuming it was not shared in confidence or you were asked not to share it. Discretion is important here. I'm reminded in this discussion that retention does not lead to a healthy troop. Strong program and recruiting lead to a healthy troop. Retention is a byproduct of a strong program. But, even the best troops lose Scouts. Troops are all different just as Scouts are all different. Better for the Scout to stay in Scouting in a troop they love.
  34. 9 points
    I concur with @Eagle94-A1, I've got bad feeling too. I'm glad to see the gains, but they are modest at best. They mostly represent motivated girls, the ones who have been waiting to join the BSA and did so as soon as they could. While there are still more girls that will join and excel, I doubt the additions will offset the other much larger losses the BSA is facing. Factor in other issues: 1. Adult volunteer fatigue/burnout/resignations 2. National's woeful financial status; its commitment to bureaucracy and poor communication; its ham-fisted management style with volunteers (and even council level pros) 3. Units inactive or not rechartering (several to my personal knowledge) 4. Ongoing litigation and insurance crises I think the BSA is an organization at risk. A good example: National's decision to put Philmont in hock. When you resort to taking grandma's wedding ring to the local pawn shop, you're one step from the poor house.
  35. 9 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.
  36. 9 points
    Our shirts have an upside down camp map on the front. That way, they can lift up the bottom of the front of their shirt and have a camp map ready at all times.
  37. 9 points
    One thing I learned as a scoutmaster: get all the information before having an opinion. We don't have all the information. We can guess but won't help. Something else that has helped my sanity; realizing that eagle is nothing but a bauble at the end of a list of check boxes. While most scouts get what we'd like them to get out of it there are those that just see it as one big check box. I have a lot more respect for those scouts that volunteer to be SPL or PL because they know it's a job that needs to be done than an eagle scout that only held a POR long enough to get the check box signed off. I'm not saying just give in to the scout's desires and sign everything off as quick as they'd like. Rather, use eagle as a tool. Each scout is different and requires different tools to motivate them to do their best. I used to treat eagle like, well, how the BSA sells it. Consequently I would seek those scouts that would cut corners and make them go back and do it again. While a lot of scouts thanked me I also broke some rules in the process. I'm not sure it was worth it. The adult's job is to motivate scouts to do their best. The eagle bauble is just one tool to do that. It may have been better to spend more time developing other tools, such as teamwork within patrols, or having fun activities that develop outdoor skills. There's a lot of tension in this thread and it's just like all the other threads about advancement. Did the girl cheat? Did the leaders or parents grease the skids? Or was this just a really motivated scout? We really don't know. But the tension is going to do a lot more damage than the good that might come from making sure scouts don't cut corners.
  38. 9 points
    It may be encouraging to remember that while 2 years may sound like a tight squeeze, it's not impossible. Scouts have been doing just that for a century - starting at 11 or 12 and earning it at 13 or 14. If they can do it at such tender ages, I'm sure these young women will be even more capable of making it happen, what with their advantages of maturity, desire, and resources. I will express, however, that if a young lady joins a unit with the driving goal of earning the rank of Eagle Scout, she may have already misunderstood the purpose of Scouting. The goal of a Scout should never be "to earn one's Eagle." This overlooks the vast and myriad spectrum of opportunities which Scouting affords our youth, the real goals which are represented by the rank of Eagle Scout, but not beholden to it. Learning how to camp, learning how to vote, learning how to treat a wound. Learning first aid, and communication skills, and crafts and sciences and cultures, becoming invested in the world around them, and using what they learn to help others. Discovering for themselves the possibilities - and responsibilities - of the world around them. Above all, becoming, truly, trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Those are the true goals of Scouting. So, if you want to give these girls the most that Scouting has to offer, make this focus on personal development your top priority, using the Path to Eagle as a means of organizing, focusing and measuring their personal progress towards becoming better people, but never sacrificing the structure and integrity of its requirements for the sake of "pushing through it." It's a tool towards preparing young people with the vital life skills and knowledge they will need to be effective and honorable adults, and if a Scout follows the advancement program faithfully and diligently, with the goal of absorbing all that they can from the program, then they will have achieved the real achievement of Scouting - becoming a good, moral, contributing part of their families and communities. So, I opine that the single best approach, FOR ALL SCOUTS, is simply to follow the program faithfully, intentionally, and sincerely, using advancement as a tool to help you organize your activities and measure your progress as you work to learn all you can in the time allotted you, but not allowing it to become the reason you Scout. Those early ranks teach the core principles and skills of Scouting. They are not designed for "young Scouts." They are meant for new Scouts, of any age, and they are intentionally designed to create the essential foundation of skills and knowledge espoused by this program. I have more respect for the First Class Scout who has truly invested himself in mastering the requirements of his rank than for the Eagle Scout who brushed through them just to get started on his leadership tenures. For these new Scouts, it's FAR more important that you focus on ensuring the early ranks are passed thoroughly than it is to "skip to the higher ranks." Besides, success at those levels inherently depends on whether or not the Scout has truly demonstrated his competence in the requirements leading up to First Class. It's wonderful that these girls are driven and willing to work. Your job is make sure that they are in Scouting to become Scouts, in the deeper sense of that expression. Working carefully, not hastily, towards Eagle will help them to get the most out of their experience. And even if they don't make it that far, such an approach will ensure they still reap the true benefits of the program for the rest of their lives. Good luck!
  39. 9 points
    Dear Friends, including Moderators: I agree with those who think we should mainstream discussion of Scouts BSA all-girl troops. Pigeon-holing us into a politics chapter continues a negative cast on a decision that, while not supported by all of our members, is actually working out quite well. We should not have to defend against negativism when what we really want to do is discuss how the program is best working in the new units. Please make the change. I've been the senior volunteer at the Unit, District, Council (major metropolitan) and Area levels, and served on national and council committees for over 30 years. I've formed over 20 units in my time. I "retired" from all of that and am now a Scoutmaster of a 25-member all-girl troop in an urban area with a committee of 15. I thought I had seen it all until we added these all-girl Scouts BSA units. In my opinion this is the best enhancement to our ability to serve young people over the last 20 years. I was on camp staff for a few years in my youth, and the kind of cutting and unrelenting negativism from those who do not appear to be on the front lines of this development sound like a Scoutmaster named Igor we saw during first period each year. He could never be satisfied with anything the camp staff did because "national" and the "council" had "ruined" the Scouting program of his 1940/50's youth. We had - gasp - propane in the patrol kitchens, were shifting to "ugly" tan shirts, and somewhere at some other chartered organization there were now girls doing things in Exploring. Yes, even though he had no obligation to involve himself with a female Explorer Post, the knowledge that a BSA group out there included young women had indeed ruined his experience of operating his all-boy Troop. Folks, there are always changes to our program and there will always be people who claim that those changes have ruined what was better or perfect before. In the 50's it was the - gasp - welcoming of African-American Scouts into Troops. Imagine that -- Scouting "ruined" way back then. These people will always be with us and there is nothing we can do about that. But there is one thing I have learned about this through my years as a Scout and my 30 years as a unit/council/national Scouter. It is the optimists and cheerleaders who make Scouting happen and will always be the future and leaders of our movement. I urge the moderators to begin a program thread on Scouts BSA implementation for girl troops and prohibit political discussions on that thread. Let's get on with helping the 1,800 new Scoutmasters, Troop Committee Chairs and Troop Committees out there. When was the last time we actually had 1,800 new Troops in this movement? Yes, it was back in Igor's youth -- in the 40s and 50s. I believe the good times are returning because now everyone is welcome..
  40. 9 points
    Barry: My effort is to create a positive, encouraging thread that highlights positive program activities about all-girl troops. Under the rules of this blog it is proper that off-topic postings are removed from a focused thread, and that is what happened here (and not at my request). Nothing aggressive about that. I look for the better side of people, like the overwhelming majority of bloggers here. My scouting bio includes AOL, Eagle, sea Scout QM, camp staff, vigil, unit leader, district Chair, Council President and Area President. Now I am focusing only on being a Scoutmaster. I have a child in our program, as do my three Eagle brothers. i fully support that the BSA is fully welcoming and my personal engagement has shown me that the decision on girls was the right one.
  41. 9 points
    To coin a phrase...and try to refrain from saying this to everyone (though you want to) Boy Scouts (11-17 year olds) was NEVER intended in any way shape or form to be a family event or group. If parents feel the need to interpret it that way, they are missing the point. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The aims are character development, leadership development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. The methods are Ideals; Patrols – The patrol method gives Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches Scouts how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives; Outdoor Programs; Advancement; Association with Adults – Scouts learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of their troops. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to the Scouts, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives; and Personal Growth While the family is a critical part of the youth and his identity, the goal of scouting at this age is to have them learn and grow on their own. They lead, they make their own decisions, they become a better person. They work with their peers (and that is good and bad) to do things. Also they are part of the troop and EVERYONE needs to follow the goals and traditions of the troop. If not then YOU have two choices; stay and endure or move on. Based on your input and earlier posts, you are a more patient person that I am. Good luck as you move on, there are many great Scouting experiences out there.
  42. 9 points
    Answer: !!!!!!!!!!!! NO !!!!!!!!!!!!! He should sew his own.
  43. 9 points
    Surely a parent that doesn't do everything for their child is just a Conditional Parent. Ian
  44. 9 points
    Many of us not wholly excited about the changes to the program are heavily involved in the program and have been now for many many (oh so many) years. We are running / working in our units day in day out, week in week out, monthly outings, Saturday night campfires, taps being played in the evenings, flag ceremonies, Courts of Honors, meeting with Scouts on advancement, running merit badge sessions, engaging the troop in high adventure, developing leadership among the boys, working to have them in patrols...all the scouting stuff one does out in the mud and the woods. We see the changes as fundamentally altering not the stated aims of the program, but the tenure and tone of the program. To believe that adding girls to the program and that tone and tenure of summer camps or outings if one is doing the Linked troop model, will be same as prior is to deny the obvious. I am not saying it will be necessarily bad, but it will be different from the program I grew up in and the program my son went through. That loss is what we mourn. At this point those of us not wholly excited can continue business as usual. Candidly I feel that in a few short years the separate boy and girl units or the linked models will give way to a full coed program. The pressure from aging girls (and their families) who do not have a unit to move to, or the one they start is new and inexperienced, so they will not be able to earn the Eagle will become a conversation about disparity and unfairness.
  45. 9 points
    http://nationalpost.com/opinion/barbara-kay-the-male-crisis-thats-ruining-our-boys-and-no-one-cares-about I’m posting this article because it hints to what many of us were saying during adding girls debate. The article is mostly centered around fatherless boys, but there is some mention of what boys need to develop their instinctive nature that I’ve talked about in other threads. For example: “As Farrell and Gray explain: “The traditional boy’s journey to self-sacrifice incorporated service to others, and required responsibility, loyalty, honour, and accountability. It created his mission. And his mission created his character.”” I get that the BSA has moved on and there is no going back, but just maybe a few here will be swayed to consider the needs of the boy, sperate from the girl, and bend their family scouting program, at least a little, toward that need. I know that as much as girls needed a program like the Boy Scout program, boys need it a lot worse. Barry
  46. 9 points
    When it is not fun anymore. It is still fun when I am out with my scouts.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 9 points
    The major point here for me (setting aside the criminal record for a moment) is that this is your boyfriend. He is not a parent, step-parent, legal guardian, or registered adult leader. For this reason alone he should not attend a cub function unless invited by the cubmaster and only within his /her parameters. I think you might be focusing too much on the criminal record piece and missing this important facet.
  50. 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.
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