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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/20/18 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    I’m not a professional. I’m an old time retired scoutmaster with passion for the traditional patrol method program. I’ve been very critical of the recent changes, including admitting gays and transsexuals. Not because I have phobias, I believe I’m more compassionate for these kids. But National is putting volunteers in the position of encouraging behaviors that these youth may regret when they mature into adults. I don’t believe accepting girls 14 and younger is good for the program because it will take away from the boys at a National level. It doesn’t matter if some troops are totally male, National will have to direct the whole program as mixed genders. Girls and boys don’t mix well in a patrol method type program before reaching puberty because boys generally think in the big world picture while girls are very detailed oriented. Patrol method works for boys because they are forced to build habits of working details. Girls, by instinct, won’t let them do that without heavy adult interference. None of that works well in a patrol method program. But, I’m also pretty good at looking at things pragmatically. What I posted is an honest assessment of what I see coming based from observations of the program and National for the last roughly 50 years. Troops will become adult run after school camping programs and eagle factories. The addition of girls will bring in more adults without a scouting experience, and those adults typically push advancement the hardest over the other methods. They can’t help themselves; they don’t know how to do the other scouting stuff very well, but they know how to follow a checklist. It’s human nature. Barry
  2. 2 points
    Barry, as a non pro scouter (I don't know if you get paid to wear the tan shirt or not).... this is what concerns a lot of long term volunteers... BSA4G is not a bad thing. Especially IF both boys and girls have a CHOICE in what type of unit they participate in.... some will want gender separate, some might want gender mixed. IMHO, BSA national could have accomplished this in a much more constructive way: 1) Make Jr Venture crews . They were /are already co-ed... just take the program down to the grade school level and let the girls play too. Change the upper ranks of Venturing to mirror Boy Scouts (Star / Life / Eagle- we already have changed the oath and law to be the same across all platforms).... viola - a path for girls to get Eagle rank without stepping on the toes of traditionalists and those who (rightfully so) claim that boys need a space for just boys. Problem solved. 2) Family Scouting = YUCK. We either believe in the program or we do not! Per Baden Powell and later per Green Bar Bill, Scouting is not, nor should ever be ABOUT THE FAMILY. The aims of scouting are not to exclude the family, but the ARE supposed to help form boys (youth) into independent men (adults). We already have HUGE helicopter parenting problems within BSA.... family scouting only encourages this behavior in both adults and youth. I respectfully submit that your claim of " Personally, I believe the troop program will morph closer to a Webelos III. But, if that style of program keeps the parents more energized, then a Webelos III may not be bad when National’s main objective is maintaining BSA numbers." is EXACTLY at the heart of all that is WRONG with BSA currently. If we are not teaching selfless service and using the patrol method, then its fitting that the name of the organization is changing too... because we are no longer SCOUTING as it was intended. If national's goal is to maintain / increase numbers by allowing the troop program to morph into Webelos III, then the BSA is already dead. Youth (both boys and girls) want LESS intervention by adults in their outdoor activities, not more. As a parent, I can appreciate appealing to the parents.... But its not supposed to be about the adults wants / needs.... its supposed to be about the youth - or at least at one time it was... Dean
  3. 1 point
    Maybe. The BSA uses the title Family Scouting to refer to all the changes implemented in Cubs now and Scouting BSA next February (https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Family-Scouting_Infographic_v10-1.pdf)
  4. 1 point
    This encapsulates my biggest concerns with Scouting USA. In the old days we taught scouts that it was a virtue to lift his brothers burden or help those younger and weaker than himself. If this scenario had played out with the young man attempting to help a second young man, we'd applaud them both. One for offering help where he perceived it was needed and the second for accomplishing the task. However, in this quote, rather than celebrating both people, we see the first young man's values being mocked because the second person was female. Sorry @qwazse but if this attitude wins the field, the BSA's days are numbered. @T2Eagle, and with all due respect to Mrs. T2, how exactly can she tell the difference between a man who is just "being courteous" and a man who holds the door for her because he was taught that's how gentlemen behave (because it's the courteous thing to do)? Does she have some kind of ESP that she can use to determine the intention of the man holding the door? Similarly for ladies eat first, is she saying if the two of you are eating out and your food is delivered first, you should just dig in? Frankly, that would be just rude regardless of gender of the diners. We live in an interesting time where gentlemen are mocked, and, sought out.
  5. 1 point
    Increase that mileage as your year progresses. My experience is that our 1st years are fine with hiking in 3-6 miles (again, depends on terrain) with full packs. It's the 13 year-olds who gripe about anything more than a mile! However, those distances are a wake-up call for some adults to quit the cigarettes, get on a diet and hike every day. So, gradually building up the distance is a good strategy for all involved. Which reminds me, I''d better get going if I'm gonna make my 2K walk to my coffee shop!
  6. 1 point
    I bet being a CC at recharger is miserable! Trying to do online trading is bad enough!! But a parent who shows up for events with a duration of less than 72 hours doesn’t need to register. Your unit may require that, National doesn’t. Frankly, if an adult is committed enough to show up to an event of over 72 hours, I bet they are willing to be a MBC. I agree making a parent register and do YPT before any volunteering is overkill. But a parent who is going on a longer trip? Call me a helicopter Mom, but I see nothing wrong with a background check.
  7. 1 point
    I thought I'd know the answer, but I didn't want to guess so I asked Mrs. T2 (we'd had a somewhat related conversation recently). She said if someone opens the door for me because they got there first and are being courteous that's nice, when I get to a door first I hold it open for people. If someone thinks they need to hold a door for me because they're a man and I'm a woman, that's silly mostly, with enough condescension based on the history of the practice to annoy me if they make a point of it. Let ladies eat first, she said, " that's definitely condescending; the reason to do that would be a sense that women need to be protected by the men, or the women are weaker than the men and therefore couldn't stand the privation, or both, either way it's based on a sense of being superior/stronger because you're a man, and I have no patience for that **** any more."
  8. 1 point
    On hikes, I’ve seen everything from cards to D&D or other role play games to small pioneering projects. The scouts seem to always find something fun to do. I like to bring a star guide to stargaze after dark. Skits and songs work great too even without a camp fire.
  9. 1 point
    Flattering, a scout uniform? I'd settle for functional, though neat is good.
  10. 1 point
    We've done older and younger contingents. Older are dropped at a trailhead 7-14 miles from rendezvous (depending on activities/challenges on their trail), younger (with maybe an SPL/TG/ASPL) insert at trailhead where the vehicles can be parked park 3-5 miles from rendezvous. Groups may take separate 3-5 mile trails to the extraction point(s). It's a really good idea for the younger scouts to see the older ones at the end of the day. Won't work for every hike the Philmont boys will condition for (fact is, some of those hikes will be crammed in Saturday mornings or Sunday afternoons at local parks when the troop and most everyone's sports team is taking a break), but you want that example of preparation (including various foibles) to be observed on as many as possible troop outings. The various ATCs are awesome! Some of the older scouts will enjoy getting in on cleanup days.
  11. 1 point
    My experience is that one of two things will happen— people will withdraw themselves from the activity, or the background check will find out important info. As I said, I was stunned that parents with sexual convictions signed up to chaperone field trips, knowing we were doing background checks! But they did. By following the rules, the camp gains information. Where is the harm?
  12. 1 point
    Why is it a stupid rule? I’ve worked in public schools that required background checks for parent volunteers/field trip chaperones— honestly, when we began to do background checks, the things some parents were convicted of shocked me. And these were people volunteering to chaperone and be background checked! I would not knowingly send my son to a camp that flouted this rule. I also can’t see the benefit to not registering adults. Running background checks strikes me as something with no real downsides.
  13. 1 point
    Philmont bound? Welcome to the "hike a month" club! There is precious little that is more fulfilling than sitting on a rock some distance from your crew and watching them, after an arduous treck through a land of rocks and bogs, settle on a poncho between two large hemlocks and break out the deck of cards for a game of spoons (sporks?). A ten point buck who had not yet dropped his antlers for summer wandered in to check out their shenanigans. On last year's wilderness hike, the boys built a "fort" with parachord and tarps on night 1, and waded in a stream until they found a pool where we could set up a safe swim area on night 2. Most wilderness areas require contingents no greater than 10, so have your SPL work with each patrol to make a hike plan where they wil have different insertions and trails and a common rendevous. Try to find a big field for your destination and have the adults on one corner and ech patrol 100 yards from the adults and each other. Big field = wide games. At night, I may join the older scouts at their campfire and help them identify constellations. (Most of our have lived under light pollution so the galaxy is a stranger to them.) In the morning, the SM may try to call in turkey. Scouts making hen clucks are a riot! Some sites are only a few miles in, so after setting up camp, we plan a day hike along a trail that may have an old-growth destination, berry fields, or geocaches, or a good spring/seep for water collection. Scouts can take their pick. Or, if we are by a nice stream, they might try to niggle a few trout on some bail or twine. For a couple of scouts who just like to slum at camp, you might want to teach them to play mumbly peg. Carving walking sticks or fallen antlers is always fun. (Pro tip: certain scouts will need to know where the first aid kit is packed.) Some other scouts would like to engineer a campfire circle (including lounge chairs) or build a fish trap. Other scouts will want to bake cookies after rigging a reflector oven with foil and cardboard. That's the fun in backpacking, with just the stuff they're carrying, each scout learns how he can contribute something fun to the larger group.
  14. 1 point
    In mashmaster’s defense, I told the same to my son and his reply to me was similar to mm jr’s. I encouraged him to track them for future reference. He didn’t follow that advice. Now as he is closing in on Eagle, he commented he wish he had tracked them as it would save the time and effort of re-doing some of the, now, mundane task. I simply shrug and smile. There are a few life lessons in that exchange. I’m curious how many he recognizes.
  15. 1 point
    As this thread is about preparing for girls in the youth Scout portion of the organization (since they were already adult leaders, on Ships, in Crews, and part of Posts), here is what is happening at my unit. The committee and all parents of current Scouts were asked to vote on the committee sponsoring a girl's troop. The vote was in favor, but not unanimous. A sharing of gear, and some financial sponsorship will be provided to help get things off of the ground. I have already offered to be an adult leader of the new Troop. My goal is simple - ensure that as we build a Troop with many new leaders, that the BSA soul is not lost. This means youth lead, strong Patrols, hands off parenting, etc. It should be an interesting adventure.
  16. 1 point
    I wonder how they are measuring that without the formal fall registration. I know of a number of units that will gain up tp 6 girls just by siblings joining and more with friends and fall recruiting. Overs this is great news.
  17. 1 point
    Boy, if this requirement is challenging, .......... The struggle with legalism is that it distracts away from the true intention of the requirement. Remember, scouting is about growth of character and integrity. Don't concern yourself with the details so much that you can't see the benefits of the responsibilities. Learn from the scout how he served. When the SM ask the questions in the right manner, the scout feels encouraged to brag about their experience. Along with a quick call from the Den leader, you will have more than enough for a productive SM Conference. By the way, the way our troop sets up Den Chief's duties is we start with training them with the Den Leader together. It doesn't take very long (an hour) because all we are really doing is setting the expectations for each of them. Truth of the matter is Den Leaders are clueless of how to use the Den Chief, so they are very appreciative for the training. The Den Chief is the assistant, but basically runs 80% of the meeting when he gets up to full speed. The Den Leader learns to sit back and actually assist the Den Chief. Works very well once everyone learns the responsibilities and system. Barry
  18. 0 points
    Congratulations. You win. You've been trying to drive me out of these forums with your personal attacks on me for years. Your bullying finally worked. This will be my final post.
  19. -1 points
    In that case, I’m glad that by doing such things I can please the people I care about and offend the ones I don’t.