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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/14/18 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    When I was a bumbling, unmotivated Tenderfoot, I witnessed a scout receiving his medal at the end of a regularly scheduled troop court of honor. All of the merit badges earned at summer camp were presented (but none for me--I went but didn't earn any that year). Then the ranks...Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class. Fair amount of scouts went up and collected their new patch. Star...Life...only a couple of those. Then the new Eagle was called forward. The lights were dimmed. SM had some meaningful words. Medal pinned on scout. Mom's pin presented. New Eagle said a few words. Ten minutes max. No "Eagle Charge." No "marked man" recitation by the MC. No guest speaker. No form letters with stamped signatures from dignitaries. None of that stuff was needed. That ceremony was so meaningful I can clearly recall many of the little details vividly 40+ years on. I understand that this scenario isn't possible for the case at hand. But it could work just fine for others. It certainly bucks the modern trend for the coronation-style Eagle ceremony.
  2. 6 points
    @Mich08212, now that you bring it up, I won't pardon your language. Let's keep it scout appropriate. Thank you, The moderator team.
  3. 6 points
    I can't believe I just read all eight pages of this thread. It seems clear that some members of the troop committee do not believe your son was qualified for Eagle even though he passed his EBOR. It was mentioned that a member of the EBOR panel also had reservations but passed him anyway (or did I get that wrong). Perhaps these reservations are related to the physical limitations of your son or other factors that affected his participation. Perhaps quality was missing from efforts made at the last minute. From the bullying comments, it seems some resentment toward your son and/or your family goes back many years. That could be attributable to personality differences or something more serious. We have all witnessed Scouts who limp across the finish line right at their 18th birthday (I call them "Deathbed Eagles"). As a Scoutmaster, I will admit that I am not inspired by that kind of last-minute scrambling. Their lack of preparation does not equal my emergency, but I won't create artificial obstacles either. It is definitely not an ideal situation for anyone. My own son had his ECOH earlier this year, and I can tell you that it was a LOT of work to pull everything together. If the troop committee feels your son was undeserving in the first place, it is understandable that they don't want to make extra efforts to honor his achievement by organizing an ECOH (I'm not saying their attitude is justified, but it is understandable). The Scoutmaster argued in favor of an ECOH, but the committee said no. It sounds like the fight is over. Given that your son is now 19 and no longer registered with the troop, you are pushing on a string. Just organize a family event and invite those you want. You can make the effort to write and solicit congratulatory letters from various sources if desired. If the Scoutmaster argued in favor of holding an ECOH, I assume he will show up at your family event. His presence will add some formality and gravitas to it.
  4. 5 points
    I was looking for some supplemental materials for helping to teach basic compass skills and came across this video. It's hilarious while also covering some good basic information. Enjoy!
  5. 5 points
    I recall a simple ceremony...on a very hot night in an un-airconditioned meeting room at Howard Air Force Base, Panama. The MC said a few words. Three of us lined up on one side of a wooden bridge. We walked across. Our new SM put a brand new Boy Scout neckerchief on each of us. We each received a card and the AOL patch. SM said a few words (Mr. Bates was a powerful man and 12 words from him carried more weight than 100 words from others). I couldn't have been more thrilled--Cub and Webelos days were over, a new adventure was about to begin. There was no OA or Native American discussion at the ceremony. For me, that neckerchief and AOL patch represented a transition from little kid to Boy Scout. Nothing more. I'm okay with that. I still have the neckerchief and the card, both faded but still meaningful. As with the Eagle Court of Honor, I think these ceremonies have changed drastically to suit the needs of the adults involved. Ceremonies should be meaningful and possess gravitas. But too many ceremonies today are either poorly planned/sloppy, or over-orchestrated to the point of obnoxiousness.
  6. 5 points
    Just 2 cents - you can handle another post, right? Our troop once had a committee chair who was difficult to work with and antagonistic towards my son with ADHD. I know there are some Scouters out there who do not do well with kids with differences, and who put know-it-all-ness, power trips and ego into their volunteer jobs. It's disgusting. You are not alone in that kind of experience and I'm sorry that your family had to struggle through it. I hope you and the Elks throw your son a fantastic court of honor! Congrats to your son!
  7. 5 points
    I hold to the idea that if an activity is done outside, it's an 'outdoor activity,' and if it's some kind of athletic event, it's an 'outdoor sporting event.' Why try and complicate it? So yes, absolutely, any activity they play at Cub Camp can count towards this requirement. If they play, even for a few minutes, they did it. Simple and easy! I feel the reason it seems vague is to make sure people don't get too hung up over what does or doesn't "count," and focus more on getting the boys to be active outdoors. Especially in the summertime when it stays light longer into the evening, I make sure at least a few den meetings every month are done outdoors. The whole point of the award is to help get dens and packs outside. We had our Raingutter Regatta out in the Church parking lot last night, and it was lovely - parents and families sat out on the lawn, the boys got to play in the water after the races were completed - everybody had a good time. As for conservation projects, planting things is always fun, especially quick-growing fruits or vegetables that they can enjoy in simple meals on camp-outs later in the year. Bird- or bat-houses can make for wonderful observation activities in the future, and collecting goods to recycle can involved the entire community. The key to anything is simplicity. We want the boys to learn that conservation is something anybody can do easily at home, so the more intimate the project, the deeper the lesson can sink in.
  8. 5 points
    @Mich08212, here's what's weird to me (and I think most of us who are Eagle scouts): the last thing we would ever do is wait for some committee to plan this thing. Not to sound too much like The Little Red Hen but when I did mine: I got the date from the church to reserve the hall. I let the troop know when it was happening. I invited the speakers. I asked scouts if they would participate. I asked the SM if he would do his usual shtick. I stuffed the invites and addressed the envelopes (typed, I think, triple spaced). Mama and her friends on the women's auxiliary made cookies and punch. I typed up the program (can't remember who paid for the copies). A friend (sister to two of our scouts) inserted a poem she wrote herself - that was the only thing I didn't ask someone to do, and a pleasant surprise. Well, the president's letter ... no clue who requisitioned that. My sons' were more complicated affairs linked to HS graduation parties, so their were more hoops to jump through as a family. But ... we did not wait for some stinking committee's rubber stamp. Guests, leaders, and scouts could show up (or not) as they wish. If the committee wouldn't approve, we wouldn't care because, well, we were Eagle scouts and could lite our own fires. Deny us matches, and we had flint and steel (not stainless) blades, deny us that, we have a lens, deny that, batteries (even back in my day there were a few lying around). We didn't fight for our right to party, we just partied. I'm really sorry your troop culture has turned sour. But, don't throw your dimes down on a lawyer. You don't need one. Your son has his scout buddies and his college buddies and his family. He can do this whenever he pleases. Invite whomever he pleases: granddad, SM, maybe even you! If the committee complains, give them a name of that lawyer you were going see. Tell them they can spend their $$s demanding your son to cease and desist vs. you demanding them to permit.
  9. 5 points
    One hard part about parenting that I never thought of was having kids who don’t enjoy the same activities you did as a kid. I always thought I knew how I would raise my son... I had the formula down (sports, music, Scouts, class). When I was watching him meander out on the field I realized that his formula will be different than what I was raised on. I still challenge him but it won’t be the same. Too many parents stick with their initial formula and push it to the extreme. I’ve seen kids at little league that should never be on the field. Not that due to talent but enjoyment. Since so many parents are pushing the select sports early, options for parents who do not want to go down that path are limited. My son, after 2 years out of soccer wanted to try it again. At 10 years old we found no rec leagues left... he would have to make a select team. Not a big deal as his interest was fickle, but it showed the lack of options kids have as they grow. In my area, rec everything (hockey, speed skating, soccer, swimming, tennis...) goes away at 10. Most groups have tryouts at that age. Not all, but far too many. Scouts can be that one organization where youth should be able to join at anytime. It should remain fun and led by solid volunteers. That is the case in many but not all Troops and Packs.
  10. 5 points
    The message I got from that article is that soccer numbers are dropping because parents are taking the fun out of it. Select soccer at 6? At 6 my kids met at the park and the coach was no more than the screw ball in chief. It's kind of like watching parents with kids skiing. Good ski instructors realize 6 year olds are as interested in hot chocolate and playing in the snow as actually skiing but the parents want their kids skiing the whole time. Message to scouters would be keep it fun. I just came back from talking to scouts, parents and staff at summer camp and the idea that summer camp could be more than advancement took a lot of effort to get across. They can't even imagine, at least in my council camp, that merit badges don't have to be the primary activities at camp that everything else has to be squeezed around. Troops/patrols don't do conservation projects, hikes, climbing, kayaking, shooting, or anything just for fun because the MB schedule keeps them split up for so much of the day. All of those activities are jammed into the evenings. It's about understanding that play has its own benefits. Anymore the only way for a kid to play is to use electronics. Maybe it's not the kids' fault. Fun with a purpose might also apply to other activities.
  11. 4 points
    Well, no, it doesn’t answer all my questions. But that’s OK. In your answer you’ve insulted a committee member, made excuses for your son (he’s too thin to do physical activity???), brushed off someones battle with cancer, and said you had to take over his Eagle workbook. It sounds like your son and his Troop had come to a mutually toxic relationship. Better to do an ECOH on your own and move on to the next chapter. I can’t imagine how this could end in a way that satisfies all parties.
  12. 4 points
    Sounds to me like whatever hoops needed to be jumped through were done so successfully. The award kit is in the scout's hands. To me, the buck is stopping at the committee. There could be some sour grapes because the boy pushed the deadlines, and that's where there may be more to the story. But, that's not particularly relevant. What is relevant? When the troop gets into the habit of providing space, time, every scout in uniform, honor guard, etc ... for every ECoH, families feel entitled to that. Then committees feel like they need to govern it. Letting adults run around with scissors making rules ... sooner or later someone's gonna get hurt!
  13. 4 points
    Excellent points re enjoyment (or lack thereof) and burn out. I think about this every time I drive down a certain turnpike in OK. Along the way, on the outskirts of a town, there is a huge youth baseball/soccer complex. Day and night, the parking lot is full. All of the fields are in use. Rarely do I see the place empty. I reflect back to when my kids were young and involved in sports. They wanted to sign up, but I never detected much joy on their part once the season started. Endless practices. Fees up front and then mandatory candy sales and other fundraisers during the season. Long drives in the mini-van to games. Cranky children doing homework and eating fast food in the back. Weekends spent watching the children play half-heartedly. Obnoxious parents. Coaches acting like every game was the World Series/World Cup/etc. You know the scene. I believe many families are realizing that it isn't worth it. When I was at camp a few weeks ago, I noticed that the gaga ball pit and the basketball court were always in use. I found it interesting that the scouts were competing, definitely trying their best to win, but also having fun. And there was zero adult or staff supervision. The scouts were running their own show. Resolving their own conflict. Competing on their own, without parents and coaches orchestrating everything. I'm sure the scouts benefited in many ways.
  14. 3 points
    Frankly, I am disappointed about not being able to use regailia for Arrow of Light ceremonies and probably more in the future. But to me that isn't the purpose and reason we are in OA. It is a tool that OA currently uses to help serve its purpose but it isn't the purpose. I would think that most people with Native American decent would not have problems with how OA uses the themes but I am sure there are those that dislike it. I am also sure that some ceremony teams disrespect native american cultures which is sad. I would be much more disappointed if a large group of Arrowmen dropped their sashed because of regalia alone, it would send the message to me that they are not in OA for the right reasons. Just my opinion which I am sure many will disagree with.
  15. 3 points
    I can't rule anything out at the Constitution-free zone that is our modern border, but this shouldn't be any different than someone who smokes dope in Amsterdam, has a beer at Oktoberfest, or eats some raw milk cheese in France. Besides taxation the US doesn't typically try to enforce laws outside their jurisdiction for US citizens.
  16. 3 points
    Barry, yes the ceremonies were only one aspect of it. I did a lot of that heavy lifting. Camporee staff, counclfire building, Trail clearing, bridge building, raking leaves, if it needed to be done we went out and did it. We were the ones who did the hard work, the Dirty Work and we were damn proud of it. You never asked for money, or a patch, we didn't even care if we got a round of applause. It didn't really matter if anyone else knew, we knew. And that was enough for us. That is the attitude and mindset I have striven to instill in the current generation. It is admittedly a lot harder now. But there are some Scouts who seem to truly understand that it's not about us it's about serving, bearing the burdens of those who cannot carry the load alone, they inspire me and they keep me going. And it's not that I need the Traditions to continue to comfort me in my old age. I think they need the Traditions to continue so that they can feel a part of something ancient and continuing and that they are links in that chain. A tradition that they can be part of and then pass on to the next generation and I fear that all that will soon be lost and forgotten
  17. 3 points
    Well another BSA tradition is tossed onto the altar of political correctness. This directed and influenced by people not involved in the program nor interested in the why. Also those supposedly offended by the usage who are in many cases supportive of the usage and tradition were not consulted. Is Akela still mentioned in Cubs or is that verboten now?
  18. 3 points
    Well the final hole is: If you reported the YP violation to Council, and got no results, WHY did you keep subjecting your son (and yourself) to the bully for years? Tell the SM...and the SE in a firm letter exactly why you are leaving and find a new Troop that follows the Scout Oath, Law and YP requirements. I dunno...something doesn't smell right.
  19. 3 points
    The Scout is an Eagle...the EBOR was convened and he passed. His application was approved by the SM, the Troop Committee Chair, District, Council and National and he has his certificate and medal in hand. All this pontificating about a "valid" EBOR is moot. The only remaining question is why the jerks on the Troop Committee and SM are denying him a Court of Honor.
  20. 3 points
    Hi @Mich08212, I'm a Troop Committee Chair and have been for a while. Why not just go to the next committee meeting and ask what's up? They are all generally public meetings. If someone came to ours and had a question like this, we'd take the time to answer.
  21. 3 points
    Just completed our trek. 4 days, 26 miles. Very challenging terrain.
  22. 3 points
    My son decided on joining a ship. He looked at two of them and choose the one that mainly sails sunfish and other small boats. He really liked the amount of freedom and control he was given. They capsized maybe 1 minute after starting, one of the Mates talked them through the process to right the boat from a chase boat. After that they where busy sailing all over the lake and each time they capsized they were able to right the boat pretty fast. It is nice seeing him excited about being involved again.
  23. 3 points
    Short Ridge - I know I'm coming in late on this but I have to take exception to your statement that no one deserves a Court of Honor. Every Scout - at every level - deserves a Court of Honor if they have moved up in rank. A Tenderfoot earning Second Class deserves a court of honor. An Eagle Scout? Definitely deserves a Court of Honor. That's a big part of the program - and should never be ignored.
  24. 3 points
    My only suggestion is to NOT email anyone. Instead call them, or better speak face to face. Electronic communication appears efficient, and is, to disseminate information. It is wholly inadequate for discussion and conversations. Do call, and either set up appountments to discuss in person or on the phone. Otherwise you run a serious risk of being misunderstood at worst, and at best taking longer to get the answers you seek.
  25. 3 points
    My scoutmaster always said if your scout book did not fall apart you were not reading it enough.
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