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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/18/18 in Posts

  1. 8 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.
  2. 8 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.
  3. 7 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.
  4. 7 points
    Exactly. When paintball is perfectly fine for the church youth group but banned by the Boy Scouts, we have a problem.
  5. 6 points
    When it is not fun anymore. It is still fun when I am out with my scouts.
  6. 5 points
    ...If the Boy Scouts want to attract a new generation of members, they’ll need to stand for something more than inclusion. Because being inclusive doesn’t make you relevant. If I were calling the shots, I’d take a stand against the safe space movement and everything it embodies. And I’d do it in the most public way possible. But of course, that might also require a level of risk completely inconsistent with current orthodoxy. As we all know, in 1974, a chipped tooth or a black eye didn’t lead to lawsuit, and today, I’m pretty sure a boxing ring and a trip to the shooting range would make a lot of parents…uncomfortable. But that’s exactly the point. In a world that values safety above everything else, discomfort is never welcome. Neither is risk. And yet, discomfort and risk are precisely why my time in Scouting was so valuable, and why Troop 16 was the polar opposite of a safe space. Anyway Sharon, that’s a very long way of saying that girls are not the enemy. The enemy is bad ideology, and the inability to effectively confront it. Do I favor co-ed Scouting? Hell no. I can’t think of a single good reason to put girls and boys in the same troop, the same tent, the same boxing ring, or the same game of British Bulldog. But I can think of many good reasons to include them in a unified effort to confront the siren song of “safe spaces.” Someone has to challenge the insipid belief that safety is the most important part of living. Someone has to challenge the idea that feelings trump achievement. Someone has to challenge the idea that “crying closets” on campuses designed to console stressed out students who just can’t handle their finals exams, (or the outcome of a presidential election,) will produce a responsible, productive adult. ... I recommend reading the whole article complete with colorful language. http://mikerowe.com/2018/05/otw-death-of-the-boy-scouts/
  7. 5 points
    There's a lot of hate for those in the profession, including me when y'all don't even know me. I mean I get it, there are A LOT of bad, even crooked Pros out there. Whatever, it's not gonna stop me from doing my job of trying to grow scouting and give kids opportunities. Again, I believe we work together and have the same goals in mind... I'm sorry if that's not the case in your council. Thank you all for what you do for scouting.
  8. 5 points
    When I teach scouting safety to youth or or adults, I explain we're trying to bring them as close to their Creator as we can without making it a permanent stay.
  9. 5 points
    Rowe is right in some ways. G2SS should be written to actually prevent serious injuries and not to lower insurance rates. My 9 YO son went to a non BSA camp and used power tools. He went on a raft that he and other kids built... on a river. They were in life vests but I’m sure not all would pass the BSA swim test I’m sure it was overloaded, it broke they all fell in and they had a blast. Adults were present and had the situation under control. He probably got a few bumps and bruises but no issues. He asked if we can do this with our Pack...
  10. 5 points
    How about swinging from a rope, from a wobbly tree limb, into a swimming hole, while skinny dipping, as other scouts are trying to pelt you mid-air with water balloons. We did that. (Moderators should feel free to delete this post. I'll understand.)
  11. 4 points
    District Director is a DE who supervises 1 other DE, usually in another district. Next step up is a Field Director, who supervises multiple DEs and DDs. DEs Are suppose to be serving in the background, supporting the district level volunteers who in turn support the units. If a DE has the right support, the units actually don't see him, they see the unit commissioner, or the event chair, or the advancement chair, etc. But when volunteers can't professionals must. So a lot of the jobs that volunteers don't want to do, the DE must do it.
  12. 4 points
    The economist in me smiles at this statement. This truth applies to almost anything we do. That said, and I'm not trying to defend some of the boneheaded things coming out of Texas, the great U.S of A. is a VERY big place. It's sometimes hard to remember that what's "natural" or "apparent" to us locally doesn't apply or have the same meaning to someone across town, across a District, or across a Council, much less across a country as big as ours. A Scouter's experience growing up in a local Pack, bridging over to an attached Troop and eventually finding a home as a Scouter all with an involved CO in a small community is/can be very different from the experience of a Scouter who's experience is in a larger community with multiple CO's, both religious & community based, who are very "hands off". For me locally, I know our DE works her butt off. But I'm still not convinced there's much "value added" to my Cub Scout Pack. After all the money that comes out of my personal pocket (much like classroom teachers) for this & that in our Pack, the popcorn sales, the registration fees and the many hours a month that I volunteer, FOS solicitations kind of feel insulting to me. Just my 2¢, YMMV.
  13. 4 points
    I would like to say I really don't care how colleges view my boys' Eagle awards, if they even get them. If a college looks at my kids and doesn't see them as wonderful people, then it's their loss. And, I get that top colleges are competitive, but I don't really know if my kids will be chasing top colleges. What I want in an Eagle Scout journey for my sons is the maturity and real world experience the journey gives them. My boys are youngish, 11 and 13 and they are just starting to learn. My older son was supposed to lead cooking on this last weekend's campout and I heard it did not go well. But he's 13 and hopefully he will get more chances to do better and he will get better in time. It was his first time trying. Hopefully he gets lots of experiences! He is getting closer to first class. One baby step at a time. I don't care how other people view Eagle, I care about formation. If my boys learn the skills, that's the point, they will be better off than where they started. Schools do not do a complete job with young people, I view Scouts as an important educational experience.
  14. 4 points
    Goals for my scouting "career" (career seriously??)? Have fun, help the Boy Scouts in the unit have fun, and not get killed in fiery backpacking stove explosion. Other than that, do not plan to give it much thought
  15. 4 points
    both of these are utterly absurd. a group of teens already do just about anything on their own without the guidance of the BSA... but under the guise of an organization priding itself on training leaders and being prepared... they are barred from doing so. absurdity to the max.
  16. 4 points
    I never saw it that way. Old timers were part of my game. My SM mastered backpacking in his late 60s because I wanted to do a local 50miler. Adult association has no upper limit.
  17. 4 points
    Survival campout- we held one every summer just before school started. Limited to firstclass and higher. you were allowed a canteen ,a knife (any size) and whatever you could fit in an altoids tin. shelter? make one. food ? go find some blackberries or cattails, or catch a fish in the lake. Fire? bow and drill isnt that hard if you have practiced, or find some quartz and cattail fluff. 3-4 day canoe trip, camping on islands if possible catapults and water balloons! every patrol makes their own. and is issued 40 small and 15 big balloons. Firing to begin at 2:00pm tonights cracker barrel is somewhere in the woods, here is your first compass bearing. make sure you start by the white oak tree and not the poplar which patrol can lash together the best table /chair by dinnertime ? Apple pie to the winner
  18. 3 points
    Or maybe a Scout is thrifty and we go back to everyone, except the Webelos, wearing a yellow neckerchief and hat?... Just sayin'...
  19. 3 points
    Obviously, some changes are trivial (shoulder loop colors) and some are not (restructuring the program for girls). Responses should be proportional. When our opinions as volunteers are ignored and disregarded, it seems we have only two ways to object: with our feet and with our dollars. How else to send a message they will pay attention to?
  20. 3 points
    That's fair, freedom first imo. For me, having it on me has proven convenient in a multitude of ways, but mostly because I've only assessed what needs fixing when it's already in hand well away from my work bench were better, more dedicated tools are located. cork screw has proven it's worth more times than I can count and maybe only 1 out of 10 times to actually open a wine bottle, scissors have given me a quick nose trim in the mens room out in public many a time, the blade has cut more than it's fair share of fruit while at work, scored cardboard for kid's art projects, stripped insulation from wiring in the server room, Lord knows I've used the flat head for more than it should be allowed to be used for, etc etc etc. The swiss army knife is the greatest multi-tool ever created imo and I can't imagine being without one. ever. Also, Gibb's rule #9: "Never go anywhere without a knife".
  21. 3 points
    The old-time scouters always inspired me when I was a scout. Many of them were the best outdoorsmen in the unit. And some could still out-hike and out-cook anybody. Even those that could not longer physically handle the stress/strain of a heavy pack, long miles on the trail, or camp life, I still respected their years of experience, their personal example, and their stockpile of great scouting stories. Seeing them in their old uniforms, clean and neat but with clear evidence of wear and tear from the field...their patches and emblems from a long-gone era...they never ceased to impress me. Because they still believed in scouting.
  22. 3 points
    One of the older scout’s teaches woods tools safety on the first new scout camp out each year so the new Scouts can use their knife. We require all new adults attend the class as well, mostly so they see boy run in action. I remember one new adult was a little perplexed about how the older scout instructor taught knife sharpening. The technique was different from how he learned when he was a scout. He very politely asked the instructor about it and the instructor responded by giving the adult a page number reference in the scout handbook. You never know how some adults react to these classes, but this adult told me later that he knew his son was in the right troop simply by the way the instructor responded to his question. He said, “I’m an Eagle Scout and I thought I knew everything about scouting and camping. The instructor, on several levels, politely showed me that I still have a lot to learn.” I didn’t watch the Scouts teach the course because I wanted the new adults to see that I trusted them even in teaching safety. But I sure was proud of him. Barry
  23. 3 points
    The Girl Scouts have gone down the path from practical uniform to (impractical) dress uniform to (today) no uniform at all. The early uniforms were sturdy cotton, in a color that did not show dirt, and with bloomers to wear under the skirts so that the girls could move freely without worrying about immodesty. (May not sound practical by today's standards, but was much better for active and outdoor activities than the then-fashionable clothes for girls.) The uniforms stayed in sturdy fabric through the 1940s. By the 1960's, they had changed to being dress uniforms. Still uniform in appearance, (and recognizably similar in appearance to earlier uniforms), but of lightweight fabric and much less practical for active and outdoor activities than what the girls would have normally been wearing as play clothes. In the 1970's GSUSA dropped the idea of a uniform having a uniform appearance. It was now mix and match. A junior girl scout could choose a forest green turtleneck OR a white (print) blouse, paired with shorts or trousers or a jumper, or with jumper over shorts, or with jumper over trousers. Every girl looked different. And totally unsuitable for active or outdoor use: fall down once and you had a gaping hole in the knee of the pants. By the time I was a senior girl scout (early 1980s) our uniforms looked nothing like scout uniforms. In fact, we were mistaken for being flight attendants! And the uniform was unsuitable for any active outdoor activity. My troop made our own "activity uniform". We could buy the plaid blouse material by the yard, and made for ourselves neckers (large, square neckers) and wore them. Ironically, we were more readily recognized as scouts/guides when wearing our completely unofficial neckers than when wearing our official uniform. (Part of that was that we were GSUSA but living in Europe.) And today? GSUSA has no uniforms for anyone grade 4 and higher. Just a vest OR a sash (no uniformity here). If one wants to look neat, (and few troops seem to encourage this) , one can wear the vest or sash with one's own white shirt and tan pants. Girl Scout troops are barely identifiable as such by clothing, and look really sloppy even when identifiable. And often they leave the vest/sashes behind when doing anything out-of-doors, because they are impractical. Having a scout uniform that is recognizable as a scout uniform is among the things about BSA that is appealing to my daughter. Sure hope BSA doesn't start walking down the path to no uniforms.
  24. 3 points
  25. 3 points
    It is not adventure unless there are surprises. In the past, our scouts have taken a game concept from Monopoly and carried a ? box or envelope on hikes. At time or distance intervals, they would take a ? card and complete the task on card - everyone do 10 pushups, form a human pyramid, switch your socks/check your feet, carry patrol leader to nearest shady spot, what do you see at 60deg True, take a pic and send it, EMERGENCY, your PL broke his leg, simple fracture, administer FIRST AID and when done draw next card (scouts busily splint leg and then draw next card... NO! THE OTHER LEG! Creating the cards themselves at PLC is a fun meeting activity. I have been trying to re-introduce this idea, but maybe it needs to be an app these days.