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  1. 11 points
    Three generations of Eagle Scouts happened tonight.
  2. 8 points
    I think we're way off topic at this point, but on the subject of advancement... It kind of seems like no matter what pace a kid takes, it will bother someone. Go too fast and you're missing out on the journey. Go too slow and earn eagle in the 11th hour before turning 18 and they didn't take it seriously, didn't plan ahead, procrastinated, etc., etc., etc. My feeling is if this is supposed to be about the journey, let it be a journey that fits each scout. No two journeys end up being the same. The kids have their list of requirements, but even within that there is a lot of choice and different angles of approach. We want them to become leaders but we don't want then to lead on their own advancement trail? If we're going to say this is still a youth-led program, we should let up on the criticism of how they approach their own advancement. If the benefits of the program are so heavily dependent on time spent in the program, then we should have a requirement on the books that puts more time between ranks. Unless/until that happens, the boys should decide their own pace, whatever works for them, even if that means fast-tracking.
  3. 8 points
    Update: of 17 Tigers 10 will be awarded the rank. 4 never showed up after recruitment and 3 didn't show up but a couple of times. AND I can call em all by name too.
  4. 8 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.
  5. 8 points
    The same reporter broke the news of the Girl Scout letter back to the BSA. She has a source. What I learned is that BSa leadership are clearly struggling with how to create a Boy Scout level parallel program and read scouter.com. *whistles quietly* *opens profile* *changes location to Alaska*
  6. 7 points
    ::Putting on moderator hat combat helmet:: This discussion of who (if anyone) is "dishonest" is over. Now. The discussion of who or what is a "terrorist" or "terrorist organization," at least in the context of people and groups who have not been convicted of such an offense, is also over. Also Now. Thank you all for your cooperation. @RememberSchiff @LeCastor
  7. 7 points
    But no one says a thing when girls don't want boys in their club house. Then it is a safe space and empowering.
  8. 6 points
    (BTW I do not think girls showing up in my Troop is the same DEFCON level as war with Korea) I think now the decision is made individuals can either live with or not. I feel sad if we really are losing something and sad for boys and scouters who may leave--on that we shall see.' I think speculation is fair given how many holes in the announced-so-far policy by National is at the scout level. I cannot figure if they are being stupid, intellectually lazy, or sneaky. I do not think they have a very workable plan and will make us figure it all out. I am not hearing much organizational wisdom trickling down to the Council and District level...at least around here. I do hear some genuine hurt feelings from long time folks who are not planning to make a fuss. Last night I was on a BOR (I know, I know as an ASM I am not supposed to be on it but they were short a person). The lad was going up for Star at 12. Fast tracking to Eagle but does everything he is asked (though pretty much the minimal on camping and patrol activities--you know when Mom asks when she can drop off and pick up at the campsite so he still gets credit for one night of camping) so he was gonna pass. A mom sat in on the BOR and didn't say much and was pretty tense. I respect this woman's opinion (she is also active service member single mom) so I asked if anything was wrong. She expressed her frustration over how the Troop and BSA in general has so enabled scouts to get Eagle so fast (the boy in particular attended two summer camps to load up on Merit Badges) that they are missing the point of developing leadership in scouts by going so fast and what is the point of Eagle if it is just an academic exercise. She makes her son 'do it the right way' and he is mad at her because he sees boys 2-3 years younger the same rank but less active in the Troop. She said the interference of the parents, mostly "remote control moms" were making it easier on their sons but ruining scouting. It is the same arguments we talk about here but it was refreshing hearing from a parent. (she also said she would welcome 'hiker girls' if in exchange we could just ban all the adults but a couple men). So...I reiterate the bigger threat to the program is the move away from the traditional program youth-led, mixed-age, patrol based outdoor program.
  9. 6 points
    I would slightly differ in that view. BSA National and pretty much every interview CSE has had emphasized and at times over emphasized family. He talks about families doing things together, that families want programs they can do together, and that scouting can be the program they can do together. The surveys tell them family is key and they want to do things. As a family. One can infer that if the new families that come into Cubs with the family transition to Scouts, the expectation is the family will come along. Those of us that are dinosaur troops, all male leaders on outings, using patrol methods, scouts off by themselves, referring scouts to their SPL for questions, will be (I assume) be expected to welcome the families. Even if we are all male and the Scouts potentially crossing over are male, this family focus will be a challenge.
  10. 6 points
    You keep asking that question and we answering it. The program changed a lot with the admittance of women leaders. There didn't appear to be a lot of changes from the outside, but it was obvious from the inside. As I've said several times (I believe to you, but I could be wrong), the massive training course changes in 2000 were largely a result of bringing women into the troop. Not because they were women, but because they had no Boy Scouting experienced. The BSA was so overwhelmed with un-experienced adult leaders that they had to rethink how to train them. And I think most of us who were leading Troop programs back then would say that Patrol Method has suffered greatly. Adults today don't get patrol method because training doesn't teach it well and there aren't enough experienced leaders to encourage it at Council or district level. Bringing in girls will increase the number of un-experienced unit adult leaders. If there was any hope that the program 10 years from now resembled today's program, calling it a family program killed it. Calling it a family program will add more confusion between leadership and parents. It will eventually sort itself out if scouting survives, but it won't be the same program. Barry
  11. 6 points
    The only thing that can doom Scouting is people who allow themselves to believe that Scouting is doomed. If we embrace the pessimistic idea that Scouting's days are numbered, then sure, it won't last long. But while I may not be able to rescue the perceptions of cynics and fatalists, I can certainly save Scouting in the eyes of the boys in my Den or Troop. I can instill in them the ideals and aims of Scouting, and lead them to believe in the power of this movement, however it may be distorted or warped by reactionaries and so-called 'progressives.' I can motivate them to live the Scout Oath and Law, and learn the lessons and skills embodied in the Scouting movement since the beginning. Scouting is only dead if you let it die. But so long as it lives in me, and in those who believe in it, it can never truly go away. So why give up hope, when you can instead labor to instill hope in the boys you work with? You fear the end of Scouting as you watch the top come crumbling down? Then counteract the collapse by establishing a foundation of bulwarks from the bottom up - build it up in the boys, and they will hold it up in the future. I refuse to subscribe to fatalist ideologies that simply wait to claim "I saw it coming!" when they end comes. Poor fools; they just end up waiting and waiting forever ....
  12. 6 points
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455874/toxic-masculinity-myth-fuels-culture-wars Yah, I change the title just a bit. But the article described, at least to me, exactly what has been going on in the BSA for the last 15 years. For many of us, Boy Scouts is where a boy becomes a man of character. A man proud to be a husband, father, civic leader and a moral role model. It wasn't a boys club where male boys huddled together conspiring to bring out the worst of humanism, just as some here still believe. Scouting is a culture that challenges the masculinity of young men so that they can learn how to shape themselves into citizens of character and leaders of integrity. Scouting is a culture where young adult males find the limits of their character without the interference of guilt to prevent the lesson of learning their role in the community. Scouting was a safe place where a boy could face the limitations of maleness in a complex world without feeling guilty. It's not an anti female culture. Quite the contrary, the scout program is a pro equal culture program. It just does it by taking out out the static of multi-humanist biases and opinions until each scout can sort our their deficiencies in practicing the Scout Law and Oath, and then make a conscious change to better themselves for their future in the community. I am a full believer in building ethical and moral decision makers. I've been in the middle of the BSA cultural discussions about as long as they have been on Scouter.com. So, I know the debates. I laugh because I remember when 90 percent of the discussions on Scouter.com were in the "Patrol Method", "Cub Scouts", "Advancement", "Camping", and "Open Discussion" forums. Those were the good ol days of discussing scouting stuff. We haven't seen that in a while. I think this article describes the Scouting Cultural divide very well. I don't expect anything to change. But I think the article helps explains why some of us scouters believe the traditional program has a more positive influence on the community than this new program that is just turning into another after school youth program. Enjoy. Barry
  13. 6 points
    First of all, thank you for the link to that article @Eagledad. I found it well-written, level-headed, and much-needed voice of sense in society's ongoing war against families. As for the idea of Scouting focusing on "leadership training and character development," and those being "gender-neutral" (never one of my favorite terms) -you will find after reading through Scouting's published materials over the years that those have been pushed and emphasized far more now in the past two decades than they ever were before. Yes, they were always a part of it, but you are failing to recognize that the very idea of Scouting, the core of its foundation and the center of all its facets, was the idea that boys are different from girls, with a greater need for active, adventurous learning, and that society lacks, indeed, desperately needs, a channel through which restless boys could learn the skills and knowledge they need to become strong, intelligent, honorable men. Who would dare presume that masculinity is important to Scouting, that "making boys into men" somehow matters in our programs? Oh yes. Lieutenant-General Robert Stevenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell. Or just Old BP as the kids called 'im. If you do not understand the central place masculine development has in Scouting, and the massive importance it had to Baden-Powell, Daniel Carter Beard, William Hillcourt, Earnest Thompson Seaton, and all the early founders of Scouting, then you do not understand what Scouting was meant to accomplish. The very impetus of Scouting was the recognition that more and more boys were growing up in urban or suburban settings without opportunities to develop in ways that align with masculine development. Boys learn differently from girls, and new trends in lifestyles made it increasingly difficult for millions of boys to get the physical, intellectually stimulating and involved experiences they require to prepare themselves for life. This became painfully clear at the end of the 19th century, when tens of thousands of boys, scions of the industrial revolution, wandered the dirty and polluted streets of cities around the world looking for whatever activities might keep them busy in a world of stifling urban development and increasing poverty. They needed something to pull them out of the slums and gangs and troubles of their situation so that they could become good and honest men who could learn to work and provide for their families and contribute to their communities. They needed to be rescued. It was the general recognition of that need that caused multiple Scout-like organizations to suddenly appear all over America at the same time Baden-Powell was refining his "Scouting project" in England with one purpose in mind - not to create a leadership factory, but to help boys avoid the pitfalls and bleak futures of a continually emasculating society by creating a program that would counter the disturbing trends of the day with a program that would help active boys become strong men, help curious boys become intelligent men, help honest boys become honorable men. So effective was his model that soon all the other organizations in America adopted his program, added to it their own structure and cultural flavor, and created the Boy Scouts of America. Its immediate explosion of growth can be attributed to one single idea - boys want to become good men, and Scouting can help show them how. That was the heart of Scouting - boys could enlist in a Troop, have exciting adventure and run their own groups all while having loads of fun - and all of it was designed to help those boys become better men, by tailoring it specifically to how boys learn, what boys love, and what boys need. You cannot take that idea of "making boys into better men" out of Scouting unless you completely and utterly ignore its very raison d'etre. It is meant to help develop positive masculine virtues in boys to create better men, who then become better leaders, citizens, and family members. And the trend of the last two decades towards taking that part out of it, as can be seen in the changes to the Scouting Handbook over the past few editions, has affected the BSA in negative ways. Scouting was truly a place for boys to explore their world and channel their energies in safe and productive ways as they figured out what it meant to be a man. Now that it is slowly feels the pressure to become just another activity program to put on a resume, it is losing the very thing it tries so hard to build in its member - confidence. And the declining numbers of the past few years is reflecting that. If National would ignore the boo hoos of the far left and stick to its central purpose, of making boys into better men, it would probably surprise itself with how successful the program could be again.
  14. 6 points
    Some months back, I was tapped for taking over as our troop's Scoutmaster. The biggest top of mind I had was bringing fun back to the meetings. I happened to be in a World Market store and saw a $7 iron squirrel doorstop, and picked it up because I thought I could use it at some point as the trophy for some games we were kicking around. It has since become one of the mainstays in our troop monthly program, now dubbed the "Iron Squirrel Competition." Each month the adult leaders come up with a challenge that all the scouts participate in. These should combine some type of useful training/skill with the competition. This has become the boy's favorite monthly program piece and has heightened the fun and competition in the troop. This taught me a few things: Making sure to keep it fun. Fun covers a lot of flaws! Create something that is your own. While Iron Squirrel Competition is now a part of our Troop DNA, finding something that your troop "owns" would be fun. Not just the award, but the flavor. Go cheap and tawdry. Don't have to put a lot into this. Find something unique though that is funny. I am interested in what you other folks have done that are unique to your troop that is keeping it fun. Here is a link to our "Iron Squirrel" webpage.
  15. 6 points
    Whether this belongs here or scouting round the world I thought I'd swing by and show off our troop review of the year on Youtube here. Seemed to go down well with the troop tonight! A very happy and peaceful Christmas to you all
  16. 6 points
    I think we need to remember a couple of things here: 1. The BSA, as far as I know, has not responded to Ms. Ireland's request. Therefore, any comments along the line about how National has devalued the Eagle, made it worthless, cheated previous recipients, etc. etc., are incorrect, because National has not done anything on this subject. Personally I think National is going to reject her request for all of the reasons that have been discussed in this forum. But whatever may happen, it hasn't happened yet and we shouldn't treat it as if it has. 2. Let's please remember that this is a 16-year-old girl we are talking about, and not just some hypothetical 16-year-old girl, but a specific named 16-year-old girl. She is not some evil monster. She is an ambitious person, and she is asking for something that almost everybody agrees she shouldn't get, but it does not make her a bad person. I admire what she has done, at least up to this point, even though I disagree with some of what she has said and I disagree with her recent request.
  17. 5 points
    @.40AET, please do not leave the board or even the discussion. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, as is @CalicoPenn In my opinion, one of the major problems with our society is the urgency with which we settle into a position, and how entrenched we become, during (or even prior to) a discussion. Too often we weaponize debate and there is no real chance to have a discussion that might help solve a problem. If you are for gun control legislation you are for tyranny and against individual rights if you are against gun control legislation you are for murdering children and against public safety. We are all to blame for where we are. The politicians stake out hardline partisan positions and hold on to them doggedly in order to get reelected because not solving a problem gives them something to rail against, but nothing to be accountable for. The media promotes the partisan conflict and 30 second sound bites because conflict sells and they want to gain viewers/readers.subscribers. Or worse, depending on the media outlet, they have staked out their own positions and rather than report, they lobby. And "we the people" reward them by continuing to send the same buffoons back to DC, even though 80+ percent of us disapprove of the job they are doing.
  18. 5 points
    I am genuinely unclear on whether this is serious or satire.
  19. 5 points
    Just came from a PLC last night where the PLC passed a "rule" that said only registered Scouts and adults could camp with the troop, and that only perspective Webelos looking to join could camp with the unit.
  20. 5 points
    But that is CUB Scout, bot BOY Scouts. (caps for emphasis). Most 11-18 year old males want to get away from their parents and younger siblings. They want to do things on their own. The families going camping is one reason why my sons and several others are not happy with the troop. They had problems with siblings, as well as adults. An example form this weekend, PL is doing his assigned job at a fundraiser, and one of the parents tells him to stop what he is doing and get back to work. Thankfully I was there and told him to ignore the parent and SPL's instructions. Agree 110% Even WB doesn't fully model the Patrol Method. And even when you do have adults who know PM and teach it at training, you still have large numbers of adults who think they know best, or do not have the patience to implement it. The Patrol Method is truly 'Organized Chaos" Another factor that women have is the natural "mother instinct" They want to nurture and protect they children. Many cannot let go. We see it today with 26 year olds being considered children under some federal laws. I do not know when the Guide to Safe Scouting first came out, But I can tell you many things I use to do as a Scout are not allowed anymore, and it has been since women were allowed to be SMs and ASMs, i.e. pioneering projects over 6 feet, smudge pots, etc.
  21. 5 points
    To you list I will add: Complaining about is problem is MUCH easier than rolling up your sleeves and working to fix it.
  22. 5 points
    There is the other side: 1) You have a boy (girl) in scouts. 2) You slowly get sucked into the myth and re-discover your inner boy. 3) Some old scouters or real boy scouts teach you some skills, you get just enough 'official' training to stay our of trouble. 4) You deliver the best program you can, make friends, and gain 100 unofficial nephews. Some inspire you, most are memorable, and a few break your heart. 6) You ignore national unless you hang around the forum or there is a press release. Look the whole world seems to be falling apart, some of us on the front lines are trying to keep the faith in our little corner. Because when you get down to it all real life us local. BSA might implode (and that is what we are mostly griping about here) but Scouting will one way or another will continue. (You know that would sound a whole lot better if Tom Hanks or Jimmy Stewart was saying it.)
  23. 5 points
    This is in order of likelihood a pigtail mafia member will leave a thin mint bomb in your mailbox. 1 - start with sisters of existing members 2 - have them reach out to their friends to recruit them to join 3 - standard Join Scouts Night stuff (flyers, yard signs, emails). Have something fun to do for the kids and ensure some girls that plan to join attend 4 - reach out to existing GSUSA scouts 5 - recruit existing GSUSA Troop leaders 6 - boom... your mailbox just exploded Overall, I don’t see much of a difference from recruiting boys other than making sure parents and girls see that a group of girls are joining. Once they see that, they’ll consider it more for themselves. Oh, and I don’t really recommend intentionally using 4 or 5 above... though we did end up with both (unintentionally). My hands shake a bit every time I start my car.
  24. 5 points
    I think this whole thread illustrates why National is interested in membership numbers. The number of scouts is going down and the overhead is not. The result is economic stress and thus everything mentioned in this thread. The long term solution is getting more kids having fun camping with their friends. This is one of those "It's the economy, stupid" messages that should be part of National's letter head. "It's kids having fun, stupid." I don't think the solution is going to come from focusing on what is preventing kids from having fun. It's going to come from focusing on ensuring that kids are having fun. We've been through all the usual problems. Parents are busy. Parents don't like the outdoors. Parents don't volunteer. Kids are doing more. Kids must participate in all these other activities. Girls. Moms. Dads. Single parents. .... Here's another thought. Focus on making it so much fun, rewarding and challenging that most kids will honestly decide that they're more interested in scouts than a second, or third sport, or doing anything else. It's not that I don't want kids doing anything else, I just want scouting to compare favorably. Right now the only support that national provides is getting Eagle. Eagle may be a challenge but it's not fun. It's not enough to keep an 11 year old that likes soccer, football, and baseball to stick around. Eagle is not the fundamental attraction for a kid to stay in scouts. It may be for the parents but for a kid it has to be fun. All the fun stuff, the stuff that scouting is really about, is up to the SM to figure out (not to mention selling this idea to those parents that only see Eagle). But getting back to the OP. The question every council and national employee should be asking them self every day is whether what they're doing helps each CM and SM deliver fun and adventure. If all they come up with is it's important that every scout memorize the USDA My Plate diagram then they're failing and adding no value. Come up with some honestly fun activities that a unit leader can use out of the box and then there's value added. If all these parts were supporting the CMs and SMs then the money problems would fix themselves.
  25. 5 points
    Of course, it was staged. It is a national TV program. Take the positive vibe and work with it, rather than look for reasons to lessen its possible impact and forward moving hope. Each unit, as they accept the challenge, will have a lot to work through. We do not need a constant drum-roll of negative "chicken littles".
  26. 5 points
    That article ends What we owe all people, including women, is to listen to them and to respect them and to take them seriously. But we don’t owe anyone our unthinking belief. “Trust but verify” may not have the same ring as “believe all women.” But it’s a far better policy. Sounds fair.
  27. 5 points
    Has any boy of the scout age ever felt they needed more character? Scouting is an adult program designed to develop boys into men of character (A game with a purpose). The attraction for boys is the adventure. The exhilaration of experiencing the independence for making responsible decisions is what keeps them in the program after the exhilaration of adventure becomes balanced with normality. Barry
  28. 5 points
    This summarizes perfectly the trust problem with BSA National. Unfortunately, it extends far beyond trustworthiness. I believe their lack of transparency is rooted in basic ineptitude. Their actions are shielded to avoid visibility into their incompetency. How did this noble organization of the Boy Scouts of America end up with executives who are so divorced from the founding principles of Scouting? A Scout is trustworthy, yet they have repeatedly displayed examples of dishonest, deceitful, manipulative, and opportunistic leadership. The first qualification for the job should be that you actually believe in the movement. I am truly embarrassed to have this bungling group of mismanagers at our head, and I am immensely sad for all that has been lost under their misdirection. I am one of their casualties who will exit Scouting at the end of this year.
  29. 5 points
    and that is a primary fear for introducing family scouting, holding the boys back, or worse, forgetting about the boys in lieu of the girls. Boys have enough major challenges their facing down statistically (lower college graduation rates, higher HS drop out rates, higher suicide, higher and younger drug abuse, etc) in this country at the moment.
  30. 5 points
    He has earned Tiger as of last Sunday. We found out half way through Kindergarten that he has a vision problem. So he is still kinda playing catch up, while everyone is moving forward. So the problems at school aren't transferring over to scouts. I never considered him repeating the Tiger year as someone suggested. I figured if he was not going to be able to advance to Wolf then he would just be finished all together. Not repeating Tiger and waiting a year to go on the Wolf track wouldn't work out either. I talked with our CC and he is telling me its based on age OR grade, so I don't think there is any reason he cant move on with the rest of the den.
  31. 5 points
    THis is exactly my concern. On the one hand training needs to break even. On the other hand training needs to get more leaders trained. I anticipate folks to respond with "why would I pay for that when I can take it for free online". My answer is "then why havnt you taken it online already?" Yep - every group is expected to break even. I do not get charged for using the conference room at the service center. But I do get charged for using a building at camp. And the cost (even as another "department" of the council) is higher than what it would cost for me to rent a building at a nearby county park. BALOO held at camp is very often the first time Cub parents-become-leaders have been to our camp. We want them to come to camp. We want that first experience to be in one of the nicer buildings. But I need to charge $30-$40 each to cover the cost of the building instead of approx $10 each to cover copies and lunch. That argument has gotten me nowhere towards reducing my costs for camp rental.
  32. 5 points
    I don't know where this idea came from (probably the BSA.) But it does harm to people and to the program. Eagle Scout is not some silver bullet for teenagers. If your grades suck, Eagle Scout won't get you into college. If you bomb your interview, Eagle Scout will not get you the job. As a corporate recruiter myself, I don't look for Eagle Scouts, I look for candidates who are qualified to do the job, and if they happen to be Eagle Scouts, then we chat about that after the serious stuff is out of the way. Eagle Scout is valuable not because it will cause other people to think better of the Eagle Scout, but because of the personal journey of growth being in a Troop for 2-6 years can have. Can it help you in an interview or college admissions? Possibly, but you have to be qualified already. Just like "Go to college so you can get a good job" sets young people up to have a useless degree, tons of debt, disappointment and a minimum wage job. "Eagle will get you places in life" means parents will help their sons get Eagle at any cost, and the cost is what we actually want our Scouts to learn: life skills, leadership, teamwork, ethical decisionmaking, love of country, and respect for creation. It too will lead to disappointment, when the young man realizes he spent all that time for something that isn't the promised "Cheat code." I wonder if Gary is an Eagle Scout and what benefits he perceives he's received by earning it.
  33. 5 points
    Hmmm, I have a gal that got fired up about doing a recent service project that she organized a group of elderly ladies, acquired the materials and had everyone pitch in and make lap blankets for all the residents of the local nursing home for Christmas. Sound like an Eagle project? Nope, the gal part gave that away. Did she say she had fun? Nope, not that either. Did she get any credit for it? Nope, but she did put in a public notice of thanks to everyone that helped her. I asked her a couple of Sunday's ago at church coffee fellowship about her "project". She was kinda surprised because she said I was the one that had suggested it. I didn't remember it at all, but it would seem I mentioned it as something the kids in the youth group could do as a service project. They didn't pick up on it as a group and I forgot all about it. She didn't. I had kinda lost track of the kids this fall because I was away on 4 different Disaster Relief Operations for the Red Cross. My curiosity got the best of me finally and I said, if the other kids didn't want to do it, why did she do it anyway. She said that because I do so much for the Red Cross, and Scouts, and Salvation Army, and the Scatter Garden Memorial at the local cemetery, she wanted to know what I knew that she didn't. I asked if she found out. And she said yes. She began a whole litany of things. She felt excited about the project, she made new friends in a group of people 50 years older than her, she learned to use a sewing machine, she was amazed at the generosity of people's donations of fabric and batting for the blankets, and amazed the ladies would stop their regular sewing projects for the church just to help her. Then she said getting to hand out the lap blankets to the residents made her cry. ??? Because the residents were crying when she tucked the blankets in and around some of them. So, where's her Life to Eagle booklet? Didn't do one. Proposal? didn't have one. Plan? Did use one. Advisor/mentor? Didn't get one Signatures? Didn't need any. Did she get any credit for any of this? Not at all. But she did tell me she found out what I know that she didn't know before.
  34. 5 points
    We use one cabin for a winter camp-in that has only one large room, probably holding 50 people. There are no accommodations for separate adult and youth. We do keep the adults in one corner. I can't see a YPT violation since there was no one on one contact, no tent situation. I'd be careful about reporting this and possibly ruining the adult's reputation and future for an innocent situation.
  35. 5 points
  36. 5 points
    We haven't heard enough from them this year?
  37. 5 points
    I wouldn't ever consider not getting Eagle a failure. I was 2nd Class, and yet the mantra I live by is "help other people at all times". 6000+ hours, 6 Red Cross disaster relief operations averaging 3-4 weeks at a time. Last Monday I went out at 3:00 am, to help an elderly couple struggle through the loss of their home due to a fire. Tomorrow night I work with my church youth group serving Advent dinner between services. Last week I dropped off about 300# of squash from my garden at the Salvation Army kitchen. Not getting Eagle made no affect on my life. What Scouting taught did.
  38. 5 points
    I fear the eagle has already been lightened up significantly. I have seen many scouts come back from a merit badge colleges (a one day event) with 2 completed merit badges that should take, at minimum, several days if not longer. something simple like basket weaving maybe but no communications, Law, public health, personal management etc.. I'm not eve going to go into the eagle mills. We do our scouts a disservice when we given them credit where it has not been properly earned.
  39. 5 points
    The schools in my area do NOT have that "safe harbor" rule. However, I'm aware of one case where a student told a teacher that he accidentally had a pocket knife in his backpack. And the teacher wisely told the student to just leave it there until the end of the day. But if the teacher had decided to go by the book, the kid would have been in a lot of trouble. What I've told my kids, and what I've told other scouts to talk to their parents about is this: If they discover that they accidentally have a knife or some other contraband in their possession, then they should go to the teacher and say that they need to call their parents because it is an emergency. They should keep insisting, keep saying that it is an emergency, but not state the nature of the emergency. When they call me, they are instructed to say something along the lines of, "I'm calling about that thing you said I should call about and say it is an emergency." At that point, I would go to school and ask to speak to them privately. I would then take possession of their backpack, jacket, or whatever item was involved, and take it home myself. If I was asked what was going on, I would explain that there had been an emergency, but that it is now resolved. I believe that most teachers and administrators would exercise some common sense if they were told that a kid accidentally had a pocket knife in his jacket. But unfortunately, they are not required to do so, so I've decided to err on the side of caution.
  40. 5 points
    Over the years I have been involved in a lot of "political" hassles in many different organizations and the dynamics are always the same. The simple explanation for this situation is: this parent enjoys the conflict and the perpetuation of it. It's a game to her. She doesn't really want the game to end because then all the fun will go away. So, the rest of the group has to decide to take it to the next level of conflict which is labeled "Divorce" and remove this woman and the game will go away, or take the conflict down to level of basic problem identification and solving. At this level where the woman is at is never going to agree to that because that would mean the game would be over. Well it's going to be over one way or another. The odds of it being resolved gracefully just isn't in the cards. The only solution would be to have her not be part of the processes of the unit. You will probably lose a good scout in the process, make sure he knows that none of this is his fault and encourage him to stay in scouting wherever he moves on to. Just keep it in mind that with this game that is going on, nothing in the rules points to "for the boys". And yet, in the interest of the boys, the game has got to change, one way or the other.
  41. 5 points
    The Turtles are happy to announce the birth of their 5' -11" 120 pound Eagle Scout. Gave great interview I hear. Survived despite leaving 'gag patches' on his uniform ("I Speak English" and a Klingon Interpreter Strip). Likes to live dangerously--when questioned about if that was his attitude toward a serious interview--he said "I am a Scout and a Scout is all about having fun. If I can't have some fun with my uniform I should join the military". He was having a pretty good time. Came out wanting to plan some high adventure outings for the guys still in the Troop; I am most pleased that 'he gets it".
  42. 4 points
    The level of speculation in this thread is astonishing. Now we are up to, what happens if the admission of girls (which has just barely started, and in only one of the two programs in which it will occur) does not work and the BSA tries to change back, what will happen then and what if someone sues? Perhaps we should next consider if, after all of this happens, a huge asteroid collides with the Earth and destroys all life on our little planet. What will the BSA's policy be then? I mean, if you're going to speculate, you may as well speculate.
  43. 4 points
    If given a choice between multiple options, I believe that my son's choices would be all-male scout camps, co-ed church, and co-ed YMCA type camps. As the only all-male alternative has gone away, it no longer provides a different experience than the other two. At this point, I'm thinking my son would opt for the church's Bible camp. It's outdoors, program focused and all-male off the table and all-male is no longer a choice issue and drops off the options list as it has in all other aspects in today's society. If there were other all-male options out there and it was important to him, it would be a strong consideration. Yes, he's only one boy, but I would assume there are others out there like him, too small in numbers to have any voice in the matter. But as I said, if it's important to him, he'll find his way to find it.
  44. 4 points
    This isn't an experience I recognise at all. My experience is that the types of boys and girls who will get involved in, for want of a better word, "drama" simply don't have the motivation to be scouts in the first place. The handful that do turn up don't last long at all. That attitude doesn't fit and the rest of the troop doesn't tolerate it. Yes there are some differences in what boys and girls like in the same ways that there are differences in what the older and younger scout like but it's not so different as to disrupt things. It can lead to debate in the PLC or in troop forums but there will be debate in the PLC and troop forums if it was single sex as well, just over different things. This is the reality of coed scouts on camp. Boys and girls mucking in together. It's no different to it just being boys.
  45. 4 points
  46. 4 points
    How will it work? By boots on the ground not caring about a rodent's mule, digging in and getting it done! This could have been done yesterday by saying "If a lady is knocking at the door, you may open it, we'll recognize her achievements." Then, they could get together with troops who've done so, and share the best practices with the rest of us. BSA breeds leaders. Maybe they should let them lead.
  47. 4 points
    "To be or not to be , an Eagle, that is the question. Whether tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of hiking, camping, cooking out doors, mosquitos, blisters, broken GPS units or to join a boy led Troop and by ignoring the adults have fun. To Scout, perchance be a Patrol Leader, ah, there's the rub.... for in that chance to plan and learn cooperation and citizenship must give us pause. For to bear the whips and scorn of those who would value the souvenir more than the journey, pity that man. Soft you now, the fair Ophelia doth now join my Troop...." ((Tongue hereby removed from cheek))
  48. 4 points
    LDS scouter here. Report this to your District Commissioner, District/Council Advancement chairs. This shouldn't be happening regardless of unit. It's unfortunate that BSA doesn't have a verification system in place for merit badges and counselors signing off for blue cards, because then parents, random adults and basically anyone else who can hold a pen can print merit badges for boys like they're monopoly money. In our unit, I produce a blue card each time the boy is wanting to work on a merit badge, and I provide them with the contact information for MB counselors using the district and council lists that I request from our district. I then say "you have to contact them, set up appointments, do the work, etc. Don't come back to me until you're done or unless you need a new counselor" (like if the one I gave them won't return calls/follow up/isn't interested in meeting). I am quite glad for the 14+ change in the church's youth programs because at that age we lose most of the young men anyway due to people not implementing the program as directed by both BSA and the Church. I flat out told the parents and scouts numerous times this past year that it is "opt-in" and that only those with a real desire to work consistently towards Eagle will get there. It's not our job as leaders to give them an award that they didn't earn because it cheapens its worth and teaches the lesson to the scout and family that they can get through life that way. It's things like this that give LDS--or any other chartered org--a bad name in scouting. It's a shame that people forget that it's the climb towards Eagle, not the award itself, that makes these boys into men.
  49. 4 points
    I agree with what most said, however I think marketing it to the girls that they can become Eagle Scouts is something they rightfully should promote. The gold award doesn't have that universal recognition that comes along with being an eagle. They will inherently be forced to see what the whole program entails as they climb through the ranks. Hopefully they don't bend the rules to get these first female eagles pumped out, but placing the mindset into young girls' heads that they can finally become an eagle scout will be more effective for recruiting than just telling them that boy scouts is letting in girls and get them more interested in the program as a whole.
  50. 4 points
    Col. Flagg - Thank you again. Our troop is doing a "final push" for any boys that fall into the 14+ age group. They were told that they need to finish up Eagle by January, period. Of course this means that several of them are wink-winking it when non-councilors sign off on cards. In our Ward (probably like most other LDS pack/troops), Webelos is 1 year long then the 11 years old's cross over and fall into their own group of being scouts - but not really part of the troop. I was told that this has to do with being the age to receive the Priesthood - forgive me if this isn't totally correct. With this gap year and the church's new position, our Ward will produced a lot of "patch Eagles" by 13. I don't want to the MB police - but the Scout Law is the Scout Law. Stepping off my soap box and going to the link given by Col. Flagg...
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