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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/21/18 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    What we have here is a great opportunity for BSA to correct a bad branding decision. Who are Scouts BSA? The public doesn't know. It has no history, no identity. You have to explain it, and it goes something like this: "Oh, that is the program for young people age 11 to 18 that used to be called 'Boy Scouts.' It's just a name change for that program. The umbrella organization is still the Boy Scouts of America. The point is, it's really Boy Scouts, just with a new name . . . " Huh? What? You lost me at "program." If you stop calling the program "Boy Scouts," you're giving up more than a century of goodwill and American lore surrounding that program. The girls interested in joining aren't lobbying to join "Scouts BSA." They want the Boy Scout program. The program that is 118 years old. The program with the historic and highly regarded Eagle Scout rank. The one where you help little old ladies across the street and tie knots and go backpacking and climbing and shooting. The demanding program. They want to be "Boy Scouts," because that name -- those two words together -- has an iconic meaning that is separate and independent from the words themselves; and that meaning has nothing to do with gender. Because of what that name really means, girls don't care if they will be called Boy Scouts. They want to be Boy Scouts. If they had any qualms about that name, they'd join Girl Scouts. BSA can and should use this lawsuit as cover for changing its mind and going back to the "Boy Scout" brand for its flagship program. Dan Kurtenbach Fairfax, VA
  2. 2 points
    As I plan ways to encourage more effective use of the Patrol Method on a local level, I have been thinking a lot about how Scouts are introduced to the idea of a Patrol. Naturally, new Scouts learn quite a bit from other Scouts and the Scouters in their Troop, but the Boy Scout Handbook is also a handy go-to resource. Scouts and Scouters, both, should read the Handbook to learn as much as they can about the program and the game of Scouting. Though, the depth with which the newest Handbook, the 13th edition, dives into the Patrol concept is very shallow when compared to, say, the 9th edition from 1979. Green Bar Bill, not surprisingly, commits seven pages to the Patrol structure with the following sub-topics: Patrol Name Patrol Flag and Emblem Patrol Call Patrol Leader Patrol Doings Patrol Meetings Patrol Hikes and Camps Reading the text is tantalizing: "A patrol is a team. All the members play the game of Scouting. All of you work toward the same goal. All of you have a wonderful time. In the patrol, you learn what fun it is to plan exciting things to do with some of your best friends...to hike and camp together...to sing and laugh together homeward bound from a strenuous hike or around a flickering campfire...to work together to meet the tests that will carry all of you onward and upward in Scouting." (pg. 12) Now, the 13th edition commits a mere two pages and spends a significant portion discussing the different breakdowns of the "kinds of Patrols." Whereas the Patrol to Green Bar Bill is a group of "best friends," the newest description is about segregating by classification. In essence, Bill makes you feel like you're already on the camp or hike around a fire with your buddies. The 13th edition simply ticks off a box about the Parol and moves on. Is this the effect of the short attention span culture we are cultivating? Boys' Life and Scouting skimp on much depth these days, too.
  3. 1 point
    Sorry to mis-lead you two. I joined as a Bear Cub in 1987. The uniform shirt I shared belongs to a recently-retired Scoutmaster from our area. Yes, @desertrat77, our Scout Executive shared that with us a few days before we all learned of this lawsuit. I think BSA was trying to pave the way for merger in the 1970s and "Scout BSA" was a way to make it easier?
  4. 1 point
    @LeCastor, you raise excellent points. Not too long ago, I was looking at the Patrol Leaders Handbook, 1967 edition (the ISP '70's era edition is utterly worthless). Though I came up through scouting during the ISP/'70's era, my scoutmasters ran the various troops I was in by the old style of scouting, focusing on the patrol method. I was amazed as I thumbed through the '67 edition. I had forgotten many of the things I was expected to do as a patrol leader. Collect dues. Sit on the monthly troop leaders council as well as the yearly TLC planning meeting. Train my patrol on the skills required for the next camporee. Organize the purchase of my patrol's food for camp outs. Etc. Alas, I rarely see the patrol method used today. Scouting has largely been reduced to parents and scout leaders running everything. The scout's sole responsibility, most of the time, is to get into the van and just amble through an event. Campouts? Patrols? When many troops actually go camping, everyone is huddled around one dining fly, with the adult leaders calling all of the shots. (Yes, I'm painting with a broad brush.) The BSA got a reprieve when Green Bar Bill came out of retirement in '79 and re-wrote the handbook. The anti-outdoor and anti-patrol method crowd, the pro-ISP folks of '72 - '80, failed in their initial effort to "revolutionize" the BSA. But they were patient. Their desire to reduce the outdoor element, and diminish the independent patrol/gang (well said, @qwazse), worked in the long run. Why any anti-outdoor/anti-patrol method adult would join the BSA is beyond me. But join they did. Indeed, they were cordially invited. And were subsequently promoted to the highest levels, pro and volunteer.
  5. 1 point
    The reverse happened to Son #1. His buddies were in different patrols, and they convinced him to join the Volleyball team one year and the Football team the next. The only way this problem is solved is if adults believe in tight personal relationships and encourage boys to form gangs along those lines. The cultural reality: parents dread such gangs.
  6. 1 point
    I know what you mean but here is a photo of a uniform from the mid-1970s.
  7. 1 point
    Well, I think the discussion has gotten silly. You are justifying bad behavior because you didn't get caught. That's integrity! Handing in your badge, is that an adult temper tantrum? If you really believe your bad behavior is justification for qualification Eagle, I think you should hand your metal back? So let's hash this out, is there any action you feel that a scout might have done to disqualify him from the honor of Eagle like selling drugs, bullying, or threatening physical harm with a weapon? Anything? The Eagle represents integrity, and as far as I can find, the BSA doesn't list actions of integrity beyond the broad definitions of the Law and Oath. Are you suggesting that should mean anything goes? If not, just say so so we don't have to ridicule those who might disagree with your personal list of immoral exceptions. I have had to deal with Eagle candidates who were caught doing what many in the community consider immoral and the discussion is a lot more complicated than, "It's OK by me, that should make it ok for you". To the community, the Eagle is an ideal of above average character and integrity. It represents a higher (almost unreachable) idealism that most parents want for their kids. It's not an idealsim of the average person, but of someone who stands above the crowd and models the idealist actions of good citizens and leaders of the community. Once we start denigrating that community expectation with shallow exceptions, then eventually the prestige of the idealism fades into insignificance. The Eagle will have no more honor to the community than the 2nd Class rank. It will just mean time spent with one of those after school outdoor youth clubs. Maybe I'm being unfair, but I've had to deal with some of these challenges as a Scoutmaster and I find denigrating others to justify my personal opinion immature, if not hostile. These are serious conflicts for many families. To trivialize behaviors that tear families and communities apart is just as unworthy of the Eagle, if not more. I had to struggle with most of these challenges, not only with the Troop leadership, but the troop parents and district leaders. It's very sobering measuring right, wrong, immorality, and questionable behavior with the community watching. Who am I to decide right and wrong? Barry
  8. 1 point
    Just for clarification. It was council members plus volunteers who conducted the EBoR. The gentleman who brought the paper to be signed was one of the members on my son's board, and there was an apology made for causing him anxiety and stress.
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