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  1. One mentor of mine never had children of his own. He came back from WWII, and the troop he grew up in needed a SM, and he filled the role. He served as SM of the troop until Uncle Sam called him to Korea. Came back from Korea, and resumed SM job because everyone wanted 'Sarge" back. Stayed on for over 20 years. Even then he worked summer camp until health started failing him. Man who made the biggest impact on me, more than may father, was my SM. He was the role model for me growing up, and my role model now as SM. He also never had children of his own. HIs nephew's troop needed an SM,
    9 points
  2. I've already mentioned this elsewhere but I'd chuck all of the advancement and turn the program into playing outdoors. Then, the cubscout handbook is nothing but ideas on how to play outdoors. The den leader handbook would be ideas how to play outdoors, safely. It's something nearly every kid would want to do. No schedules, no requirements. Pinewood derby is fine, as is kick the can. If the scouts want to do arts and crafts or go to the fire station, that's fine. And there's no need to keep track of how they played in order to give them bling because that's the definition of playing. The
    8 points
  3. This is an opportunity to make OA relevant while bringing BSA back to the experience that most of us Scouters want for our kids. It's not hard to imagine... The arrow flies true, just as the order remains true to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Reinforce the basics... The arrow on a compass points north, just as the Order of the Arrow always points its members back toward service to others. Service at camps, service to Troops, service to Packs... The arrow represents excellence in scout skills. Archery is a scout skill taught from Cub Scouts up through
    7 points
  4. It has been a while, but it feels like we are getting close to the end (or the beginning of the actual trust). It doesn't seem like District Court is pushing to overturn. In Purdue, the confirmation was September 17th and it took the District Court less than a month to reject the deal. I also do not see the US DOJ pushing hard against the BSA deal (compared to what they did in Purdue). I'm starting to get the impression that approval by District Court is highly likely. If they had major concerns, one would think they would push to hear the appeal more quickly. That doesn't guarantee
    6 points
  5. Most Ivy League schools and top employers, including the upper-echelon law firms and wealth management services, won't even consider you if you don't have Arrow of Light on your resume.
    6 points
  6. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2023/01/30/boy-scout-duluth-sleeps-outside/ He spent night 1000 in a quinzhee!
    5 points
  7. Welp I guess this is the comment to finally bring me out from the lurker caves. Besides just being straight-up sexist (this is 2023, we should be beyond this), barring men without kids wouldn't just (unjustly) exclude plenty of terrific volunteers, including myself, it would simply kill scouting. I recently took a job as a DE in my council, and after going around meeting all the units and leaders, let me tell you 95% of units are surviving off the veteran volunteers that have been around for a while. They all say the same thing. They'd love to have some parent volunteers, but the fac
    5 points
  8. So, in your mind, an adult male, registered leader, 4 Eagle Scout sons, all of whom aged out, wants to go on a campout. What is your rule?
    5 points
  9. And supporters of Survivors are always checking. Truly said, "Silence is not absence." One eye is always open… No matter how long the trail, or how high the passes, or how heavy the pack, we will be there.
    5 points
  10. I am sure that all of us could find some group of people that we have never met, that does not mean that they do not exist. I was a part of our ceremonial team for 6 years as a youth, well over half a century ago. I am still very much active in the OA, and yes, I also cringe both when I see some of the pictures that show lodges in the northeast and southeast whose ceremonialists are decked out in plains regalia, complete with double trail head dresses; as well as when I think back to what we wore and the gallons of red body paint we used more than half a century ago. I also came bac
    5 points
  11. Plaques aren't essential. They are a "want" versus a "need." If they aren't in the existing budget, then this is a Committee issue, if there is a push to fund this from the AOL parents. IF the Committee votes to fund this, then they have to solve the problem of how to fund it or come up with plaques. There's a million ways to skin that cat. But, if you are the CM (??) then this really isn't your issue. If you are CM, then you don't have a vote 😜 Past history is just that... past history. That they were funded in the past is irrelevant to the issue. We did plaques s
    5 points
  12. STICK. TO. YOUR. BUDGET! (yes that is me yelling, not at you but the situation). You had a budget meeting, it was open and they didn't show up. If needed produce the emails with the proposed budget, invitation to attedn the meeting, and the minutes from the meeting with approval from those there. $45 per plaque is expensive IMHO. IDEAS FOR THE FUTURE (caps to note edit) Now, some options I have seen. One pack I was with had a guy with a woodshop, and he made AOL shaped plaques. Arrows were purchased and made by the OA chapter. Only thing they paid for was the arrows, as that was
    5 points
  13. Yes, their maturity is closer to toddlers and very demanding of the adults. I think the Wolf/Bear/Webelos programs are adequate and don’t require much tuning. If National really believes membership is reliant on the toddler age group, they should look at something like the Girl Scout program that has a separated more simple program for that age. Professionals say 20 months is the average time to expect from volunteers in any volunteer organization. Experienced has proven that to be about right. Burned out volunteers dredge boring programs that drive families away. Barry
    4 points
  14. "Insta-palms" are not an issue to me one way or another. IMHO, reward the scout for doing the extra MBs. But, it's not a big issue to me and definitely does not affect the scouts much. Big issues are kids / families getting burnt out in cub scouts. The program is way too long with too little value. Should have remained as a program that starts in 3rd grade or 2nd grade. 1st grade is way too early. Kindergarten is ridiculously early.
    4 points
  15. I talked to the dad today. We discussed both sides of the issue and I think he's in agreement that it's better to start with the troop on March 1st rather than holding his son back. It would be different if we had a Webelos Den behind him, but we don't. Better that he start progressing toward Eagle with kids his own age than hang out with 9 year olds.
    4 points
  16. Hmmm ... @Cburkhardt --> Cup half full @Eagle1993 --> Cup half empty ... and cup is broken ... while house is on fire ... during a massive flood.
    4 points
  17. In my area, to get into the selective private middle schools you just need to ensure your $25,000 check doesn't bounce.
    4 points
  18. Most of the conversation in these postings regards two questions: “Is what our lodges do with regard to the depiction of Native American culture ever going to be accepted by the larger Native American community?” And: “Is the continued engagement by youth members of the Order of the Arrow in the representation of Native American culture fundamental to the achievement of BSA goals? The answer to both questions is no. It is impossible to envision a time when Native American communities will broadly accept the depiction of their culture by our young people through costumed depictions o
    4 points
  19. In my opinion if the absentee ballot is delivered after the votes have been counted and the winner was declared, then the vote doesn't count. It wasn't timely and you can't hold the election results open indefinitely. But it's not my opinion that matters. We should be guiding the scouts to make the decision and certainly parents should not be involved. The PLC could do anything between accepting the original results to declaring a new election and specifying more stringent rules for timely absentee ballots. As for the SPL being a multiple repeat, that 's a program decision that should
    4 points
  20. Ahem. We are here, kind sir. Silence is not absence, avoidance or disinterest. (NAM and membership numbers and charging into the fall of 2023 just aren’t conversations we care to engage.)
    4 points
  21. Wow, with friends like this, who needs enemies. I’ve been active in scouting one way or another for almost 60:. In all those years, I have never seen AO show disrespect to the American Indian/idigenous/Native American culture. In fact OAs actions are typically respectful with the intention of showing honor. Now if the culture has changed how it looks at such things, fine, we change to continue showing respect. But done disparage the OA for living the scout law in their efforts. On the other hand, I’m not sure OA can get back to the honor and respect that the organization once had beca
    4 points
  22. I'm one. I've been called Reagan era republican. I cringe in hindsight that I'm now associated with about eight years ago bringing in a BSA scout Indian regalia dance team to our cub scout pack for our pack program. Was it wrong? Not explicitly. Do I want to be seen as the guy who brought them in? Absolutely not. It's similar to telling crude inappropriate jokes. I really don't have trouble with most and will defend a person's right to tell the jokes. I just don't want to be seen as the guy telling the joke or asking someone else to tell the joke. BSA's use of indian lore
    4 points
  23. You are correct... The system is not currently designed to keep track of Riding miles nor Aquatics hours, each of which are counted for the National Outdoor Achievement Award (NOAA). I helped my Eagle Scout keep track of his in Scoutbook. Specifically, under the basic award for each NOAA, there is a comment which contains a log of all activities related to that award. Sorta looks like this: - 150 miles Horseback riding and Cycling during Cub Scout activities ( from Cub Scout records kept) - 30 miles - ATV Program, Summer Camp - 17 Jul 2017 - 10 miles - Cycling - Be
    4 points
  24. On a positive note, I see that 4 youth members are on the committee of 36 members. That is a big improvement from a few years back when it was 3 youth members on the committee of 60+ members. However it is still too many adults, even if I personally know some of them, and in one case worked with one of them back in the day. I know decisions that National has made have ticked off the youth as well as long tenured Scouters. I have seen an entire lodge protest some of those decisions in the past. As for OA being the "All Stars" sadly that is no longer the case, and has not been in quit
    4 points
  25. Back in the Dark Ages, when B-P was a sub-leftenant, our AOL crossovers got that...the AOL patch, rank card and certificate. The receiving troop usually provided a troop necker and slide. Quite sufficient in my estimation. Wish them well and send them on their way. I guarantee the adults see this as way more important than the Scouts do.
    4 points
  26. This is ideal / program design versus what a troop might need to do to succeed. The design and ideal is the COR is above CC/SM/ASMs/MCs. When problems occur, there needs to be a clear chain of command and a clear separation of responsibilities. Similar, the SM is above the ASMs. The SM guides how the program is implemented, guides the ASMs and is the final say in interactions with the scouts. CC guides the MCs and is the final say for the committee. As the COR effectively selects the leaders, it is delicate then for the SM and other ASMs whether the COR is honestly acting as just a
    3 points
  27. Setting aside that I thought turning Scout into a rank was pointless, now that it is a rank ... We had several AoL crossovers who were still struggling with square knots. That's not to disrespect the program. We had a dozen crossovers, about half of them knew their knots well enough to quickly demonstrate them. I think the pandemic was part of the problem. But, also, it's not in the nature of 10-year-olds to retain those kinds of motor skills. Scouts who are camping every month have greater odds of actually needing those skills. No rubber stamps. It's a good life lesson to know
    3 points
  28. My Comments in RED I hope only up to AOL. IHMO trying to cram 8 adventures before Crossover could be a challenge and lead to pencilwhipping. I believe that was how it was prior to some time in the 1970s. I know my brothers had Bobcat pins DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This will set us back 30+ years. Prior to 1989, Webelos and AOL was 9-12 months total. Studies showed that 9-12 months was not enough
    3 points
  29. It's like asking a lawyer to review a risk management policy. Your chance of getting something less restrictive is less than zero.
    3 points
  30. Shorten the program 2 years to prevent burnout. That one change would double the crossovers into the troops. Barry
    3 points
  31. If you have a claim and pass away it becomes the "property" of your estate. That, and questions about documenting things NOW are reasons to lawyer up if you have any concerns. It IS an issue for many. I seem to remember hearing at some point that something on the order of 10,000 claims were from Survivors over 70, with 2,000 from those over 80. No, I'm not a lawyer so remember when you get free legal advice you get what you pay for 😉
    3 points
  32. I am a 47 year old Gen Xer and I think that's ridiculous. Kids were born in 2008 and 2010. My wife had a better job with benefits. I became a stay at home dad. I am the one that gets up early, gets the kids ready, fix lunches, take them to school, go to the school meetings during the day. Do laundry, take care of the dishes, mow, fix plumbing, etc. Neither of us makes all the decisions about anything. I am the CC for two Troops, been a DL, a CM, several committee positions. In my 6 years of doing this across two programs and three Units, I have not run into the marriage dynamic y
    3 points
  33. I regret that I have one Upvote to give for this post.
    3 points
  34. It seems odd they only allow this for a religious purpose. It seems like that could be targeted by lawsuits ... like the state is establishing a religion by pushing non-religious institutions with taxes they don't apply to religious ones. Plus, it isn't just religious institutions ... it is that + museums. In my state, yes, churches don't pay but most other non profit organizations don't have to pay property tax. They don't just separate out museums + churches. The fix is even more odd. Why not other youth organizations? Why not other non-profit organizations? I'm glad I don't
    3 points
  35. @curious_scouter, my only advice: don’t suffer fools. Training should be commensurate with the needs. For example, I don’t care how good my counselors are at shooting sports, their of no use to my scouts on land navigation challenges unless I know that they keep sharp in that skill. Regarding mentoring youth … like you said, I need adults who can take a step back. For example, I am a very good cook, as are a couple of other dads. But if the boys are doing their own meals, we make our own adult cooking area. If we aren’t cooking and will be guests of a patrol, we sit apart waiting for them
    3 points
  36. @Alec27 .... The related question is SHOULD they be camping with you AND what is their ROLE when camping? IMHO, rules are to cover guide to safe scouting. The "should" and "role" is always my main concern. Committee members are administrative; not scout-facing. Too often committee members work like ASMs. That's not "preferred". Sometimes it's necessary due to number of registered adults. So on camp outs ... just like troop meetings, etc ... scouts work with scouts first; then with SM and the ASMs. Ideally, scouts don't work with committee members.
    3 points
  37. Welcome to the forum, @Alec27. A committee member can go camping, unless your troop specifically forbids it. You do need to cover the YPT Rules. My impression is "2 registered adults" includes committee, assuming they're registered, especially if they're a former SM. Maybe some of these parents complaining should register and solve this problem. I know, but it is my first thought on this.
    3 points
  38. Yeah - that's probably a really good question. Agree that BSA pros have no idea on how to move the organization forward. I will put National Volunteers in that group. Challenge is that what made the BSA great was in fact the Boy Scout program (11 -17 year olds) and the experiences those Scouts had. Autonomy, adventure, self reliance. making mistakes and learning how to work through them, actual life skills like cooking, cleaning, taking responsibility, managing your patrols and troops, learning how to make things happen, etc. etc. These skills and effectively managing Scouts can
    3 points
  39. The scuttlebutt in the pro ranks is that Mosby will be stepping down this year, and announcement will come this spring. I feel this is credible. The other thing I am hearing is that they anticipate that his replacement will once again be from outside the pro ranks, in favor of another person that has experience from the volunteer side, but preferably much younger. The rumor mill is that a more planned phase in of the CO-less model will be coming by the time of 2025 re-charters. CO model still an option, but the IH/COR would be expected to also be the Committee Chair as requirement
    3 points
  40. Maybe it is time for the OA to die. First and foremost, it is no longer truly an honor organization. Prior to the 1995 when I became a chapter advisor, the election process limited the number of elected, i.e if you had 2 Scouts eligible, you could only vote for 1 Scout, 3-4 eligible = 2 names allowed, 5-6 eligible = 3 names on the ballot, etc. When the change was made, many of us thought it would degrade the significance of the OA over time. And IMHO it has. Since that time the quality of Arrowman had dropped. I have seen all eligible members of a troop get elected, about 8 of the
    3 points
  41. Ceremonies are important. I think there are many ways to do meaningful ceremonies. If nothing else, Lord Baden Powell would be the perfect fulcrum for ceremonies. Tell his story. Tell the vision. Tell the evolution of scouting. Tell the meaning. Tell what scouts have done for others for 100+ years. OA is about continuing the service and honor fundamental to scouting. I've participated in many ceremonies in and out of scouting. Ceremonies mark achievements and transitions. I fully 100% believe OA can have extremely meaningful ceremonies without the uncomfortable use of Ameri
    3 points
  42. At the pack level some years ago, one of the leaders excitedly brought in some OA dancers, thinking it would thrill the youth and inspire word of mouth recruitment. Instead, at least half the parents dragged their cubs out the door within minutes and pack leadership had to subsequently field some rather outraged questions from the school district since it was held in a gym, and issue assurances it would never happen again. At the troop level, interest in OA has been zero to minimal for the better part of a decade. Parents and youth here are heavily focused on pursuing Eagle and any other acco
    3 points
  43. Ok guys, I am a lodge advisor and my support of youth leadership is unwavering. If a national OA Committee made up of mostly youth members the decisions that they make would be more palatable. As it is that committee is made up of adults. These far reaching choices should be made by the kids who are affected by these choices. If the pieces keep getting chopped off, soon there will be nothing left, and to me, it looks like that may be the goal.
    3 points
  44. Tap out was always one of the fun parts of the process that scouts looked forward to. Especially at summer camp in front of hundreds of observers. Saying that, the Ordeal is where the scout finds out if he/she are ready and mature enough to be an Arrowmen. Rather that is how it used to be. Barry
    3 points
  45. The National Planning Meeting took place in December, where the new National Chief & Vice Chief, as well as the two Region Chiefs, were elected. The overall business of the Order is discussed at the NPM, and any changes that impact the coming year are announced. They held a FB Live "Fireside Chat" on the final night to give highlights. It's been anticipated that the end of regalia is not a question of if, but when, so many were waiting for this NPM. Today, they sent an email out with summary:: https://oa-bsa.org/article/order-arrow-national-updates-2023?utm_medium=email&utm_campai
    3 points
  46. To being the Scout Law into it - obedient. If the organization moves to strike regalia, going rogue is not exactly keeping to that point of the SL. At the end of the day, the AIA issue is one where we have to see it from the perspective of Native Americans, and Native Americans only. If we put a bunch of teens in clerical collars and had them start reciting a Mass, we'd have quite a few Catholics who would be up in arms. The breadth of what the OA was attempting with the "localized regalia" was a step in the right direction. Seeing just the comments in this thread make me recognize how necessa
    3 points
  47. Just 1 example here: Boy Scout OA Dance Teams - PowWows.com Forums - Native American Culture Just one of many negative quotes from various forum members from tribes about order of the arrow... Then there are articles about BSA and NA: Boy Scouts ‘have been one of the worst culprits’ of cultural appropriation - ICT News Order of the Arrow is a ‘secret’ scout society ‘in the spirit of the Lenni Lenape’ - a Lenape leader disagrees - ICT News Personally, I think we make a mistake when we generalize or even reference "Indian" culture. There isn't an "Indian culture
    3 points
  48. Good timing ... we actually have some movement. Looks like 2/9 & 2/10 there will be appeals hearings.
    3 points
  49. The prudent church Treasurer would insist on an annual audit of Unit accounts and the Unit committee should welcome it. Keep everything transparent and above board. In addition to "annual", an audit should also occur whenever the Unit Treasurer duties change hands.
    2 points
  50. No disagreement from me on that. Stated long ago, Spirit of Adventure Council was the source of the "metrics" BSA stated as the evaluation that all parts of their programs were a fit for girls the same as boys, and that there was a large interest for girls to participate. The outside consultant the BSA used to make that evaluation also lived here in MA. Girls from that Council involved in Venturing sat in focus groups. Never once did I ever hear an actual statistic, only generalities. However, all of that is now in the past. It is a reflection on the BSA today what happens today, and tro
    2 points
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