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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 11 points
    A patrol with two adults supervising it is no longer a patrol. It's a den.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 11 points
    Three generations of Eagle Scouts happened tonight.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 9 points
    Answer: !!!!!!!!!!!! NO !!!!!!!!!!!!! He should sew his own.
  16. 9 points
    Surely a parent that doesn't do everything for their child is just a Conditional Parent. Ian
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 9 points
    When it is not fun anymore. It is still fun when I am out with my scouts.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 8 points
    There are few traits I would list as being utterly essential for a Committee Chair. Hopefully you find something on this list useful! - ORGANIZED Wow, how I wish our current Troop Committee chair possessed this trait! The best Chairs come into meetings with agendas ready, goals in mind, and a strict schedule they try to stick to as much as possible. They respect the time of the group, and work hard to ensure that meetings are productive, Scout-centered, and open to all interested parties. - POSITIVE The best Committee Chairs try to maintain a positive attitude during all activities and meetings, and they make a concerted effort to instill that same disposition in the Committee as a whole. They are diplomatic, tactful, and genuinely interested in hearing the thoughts and opinions of others. They refuse to let their position be used as a seat of power, but instead work to generate unity of purpose and action amongst the entire committee. They understand the importance of compromise, but still know when to be thoughtfully decisive. - COMPASSIONATE Most importantly, the most stellar Chairs that I have ever known always put others first. They are perpetually anxious to ensure that the boys in their unit receive the best program possible. They express gratitude for the work and efforts of others, and make sure parents feel welcome and involved. They know all the boys and leaders by name, and make it clear that they put Scouts before Scouting. They put long thought into how they can help struggling boys and families, and they are open to the feelings and concerns of everybody involved with the unit. They are openly thankful to the CO for all it does to support the unit, and regularly seek out opportunities to recognize those who help the unit grow and thrive. Obviously others may value other qualities in their leaders, but, these are a few character traits that I am deeply drawn to. Admittedly, I have only met one Committee Chair in my life who demonstrated ALL of these virtues - and that was my own Mother, who is deservedly a Scouting legend in our community. And MERCY did she accomplish a lot during her long tenure!
  25. 8 points
    I think it is time for the BSA to stop "selling" their decision and instead look forward and say, here's how it's going to be, here's what volunteers are supposed to be doing about it, etc. They are never going to convince a lot of people that the decision-making process was a good one, and that includes me. If they keep pointing to one survey and not to others, they are just going to keep making people angry. And they can keep talking about the meetings that were held for volunteers in each council, but then they're just inviting people (like me) to point out (again) that the meeting in my council was held in the middle of the summer at 6 pm on a weekday, and the flier that they sent out said not a single word about girls in Scouting as the subject of the meeting. Instead it was "making Scouting more accessible to families." I figured out what it was about, because I read this forum, but the large majority of Scouters do not read this or any other online Scouting forum. So if I were National, I would stop talking about the process by which we got here, because I don't think very many people think it was a good process, except for those who are paid to think it was a good process. They are not going to convince anybody at this point. I think there are a lot of people like me who didn't really think this was a good idea in the first place, but are now willing to "live with it" and even help make it work if I am called upon to do so. We had a discussion about this at last night's troop committee meeting, and we all seemed to be in basically the same boat: Kind of wary of the whole thing, and we're not going out promoting it, but if a sufficient number of girls (and their parents who are willing to be SM/ASM of a girls' troop, and to join our committee) show up on our doorstep, and our CO is interested (which they probably will be), we all seem inclined to help them and become a "linked" troop. So, National, let's focus on where we are and where we are going. Too much looking back is not good for you, National. Try to convince us of that which we know is not true (i.e. that this was a good decision-making process), and you just make us ticked off, which kind of interferes with our "enthusiasm" for helping to make this work. (Or, as Rick says to Ilsa in "Casablanca," "I wouldn't bring up Paris if I were you. It's poor salesmanship.")