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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/08/18 in all areas

  1. 17 points
    Our family came terrifyingly close to tragedy last night. We were on our way home from a birthday dinner for my nephew when my cell rang and it was my oldest son, who had been in a car accident. He was still trapped in the wreckage. He had stopped on the Interstate for another wreck, and a youngster plowed into the back of his car doing at least 65 mph. I immediately turned around and headed his way and got trapped in the traffic gridlock, as we watched police cars, ambulances and wreckers try to get to the scene. Then got another call saying he was in the ambulance headed to the ER. As traffic began to move, we could barely recognize the remains of his Honda Accord sitting on the side of the road, the rear half of the car flattened all the way up to the driver's seat. The hospital was only a mile away, but being trapped in that traffic was one of the most agonizing hours of our lives. When my wife saw what was left of his car, she fell apart. Bottom line, he is alive and well, save for a nasty bump on the head and a concussion. We all fell apart when we realized that, somewhere in that twisted mass of metal and broken glass, is my 3 year old grandson's car seat. He had stayed home safe with Mom last night. In all, four cars were involved and everyone walked away. The state trooper who found us in the ER said it was a "Miracle" that he was alive. As far as we know, alcohol and drugs were not involved...it was simply a case of not paying attention. I asked if he was on his cell phone and the trooper said, "aren't they all?" The other driver was charged with reckless driving. As I recount this, the tears are flowing at how close I came to losing a Son. The Hand of God was surely upon him last night. Thank you, Jesus for protecting him and everyone else. Thank you Honda. Thanks for listening and letting me vent. God bless us, everyone.
  2. 5 points
    More reliance on stoves, fewer campfires for warmth, cooking and fellowship...less backpacking and more troop trailers full of heavy gear...patrols all cooking near a single dining fly, under the direct supervision of the SM...troops camping elbow to elbow...less axemanship (directly related to fewer campfires)...camping at council properties or public areas with established latrine facilities...camp outs designed as entertainment/carnival style events, orchestrated by adults, instead of scout-planned/executed traditional activities such as hiking, fishing, pioneering projects, etc. These shifts are subtle, but they point to "less adventure."
  3. 4 points
  4. 4 points
    I can't do 'Susans', but I can do SUSA. Especially if we make Mr. Potato Head our national spokesman: Then he can be the savior of Irving's membership numbers, the Re-SUSA-tater. I can sink no lower...
  5. 4 points
    Check in with your District. Your experience would be very welcomed in several areas, I am sure. Some Ideas: ** Eagle Coordinator. EBoR organizer and fact checker. Very appreciated fellow. ** Training. IOLS, NYLT, BALOO... many possibilities for your years of Being There, and Doing It.... ** Commissioner. Different types, as a Commisher, you can do almost anything you think needs to be done. ** Program Committee. These folks organize the Camporees and Webelos Weekends and such. You could even invent something new, like one of my new Scouter friends. He developed a "Scouteree" as a recruiting event. Invite the public, let'm tie knots, climb walls, fold flags, etc. ** First Assistant Everything Else.... You name it, they will probably let you do it... See you on the trail ?
  6. 3 points
    Hello All - it sounds like I'm going to be getting more involved with scouts than I expected! I did some cub scouts as a child, but my pack dissolved and we didn't continue on. Fast forward 20+ years, and my son asked about cub scouts. They've just got his Den started (so few boys in his age group they finally started despite how small it is) and the den leader quit. If I didn't volunteer it sounded like they wouldn't do much and next year would be an even larger question mark. Sooooo, I'm now Den Leader to a Wolf Den of 2 boys (my son and one other boy). I'm here looking for ideas and possible input when questions come up. Thanks!
  7. 3 points
    Michael B. SurbaughChief Scout Executive Just sent me an email, he says everything is going to be fine!
  8. 3 points
    I am stepping down at the end of the year after a long tenure as Scoutmaster. I have been SM longer than all my scouts have been alive, and some of their parents too! I plan to stay active with the troop in any way that I can, but it will be a difficult transition for me. I don't want to impede the new regime, but still want to help out. Any advice from anyone who has been thru this situation or had their troop go thru it? Thanks for your help!
  9. 3 points
    We had a quick Eagle award last night. After as we were getting ready to leave the Eagle made the comment "I am glad I got my Eagle before the name change". Interesting thought. Not so much for right now, because we are heading down the road and already have made a change decision. Question is how will these young men feel in 10 -15 years about the Boy Scouts of America (or whatever it may be called) and what effect will that have. Will they believe it is the same organization that they were in? Are the folks in Dallas selling the future for a hopefully quick win in the current times? The analogy of the YMCA is spot on. People were members of the YMCA and they have most certainly changed and updated their focus, but they are still called the YMCA. We are the Boy Scouts of America. There is a tremendous amount of name recognition and good will from that name. Let's not muck it up.
  10. 3 points
    Welcome to the forums. First, I hope you are trained. 🙂. If not, training always helps understand things. There are three people who need to know about this: - First is the Committee Chair. He or she is the chief admin officer of the Pack, just as the Cubmaster is the operating officer responsible for program. - Second is the Chartered Organization Representative. He or she represents the interests of First Church of Anytown, the actual licensee of Scouting (the charter) for Pack 123. - Last is the Executive Officer of the Chartered Partner. Normally, most Scouting decisions stop at the COR, but now and then the decisions reach up to the Executive. As far as what happened, I presume you did nothing to provoke this matter. If that’s true, then go have a quiet cup of coffee, first with the chair, then working your way up . If something you said or did was a provocation, then take a moment to reflect on the matter. We are all volunteers, and mutual respect is essential . I wish you well
  11. 3 points
    While I've never stepped down as a SM, I did step down as Cub Scout Day Camp Program Director (and de facto camp director). Couple of ideas iunclude: 1) Develop a hobby 2) Do some fun things with the family
  12. 3 points
    All Star Comic Con to the rescue All Star Comic Con will dedicate the their upcoming Holiday Party Dec 12, to Star Wars Days, the Star Wars-themed weekend organized annually by Boy Scout Troop 501 that was forced to cancel two days prior to its opening due to scheduling conflicts with its host facility. All Star Con co-founder Kevin Bednarz said 10 percent of all food sales throughout the day at the Ashburn Pub will be donated to Star Wars Days to help Troops 501 replace the lost revenue due to the cancellation. The food sale special is available the entire day to include anyone who wants to give and cannot attend the party that evening. The party also will feature raffle prizes, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the event. Raffle items include gift cards, artwork, collectibles, toys, and more to raffle. Brandon Pyle of the newly formed Capitol Cosplay League has donated signed Washington Capital hockey pucks, Washington Wizards jerseys and four suite tickets to the Feb. 5 Capitals game versus the Vancouver Canucks in support of this effort. “I’ve attended every Star Wars Days,” All Star Con co-founder Michael McNutt said. “It was a great event that my children loved attending and looked forward to. Justin (Youtz, the event organizer) has been a great supporter of All Star Con, and when we heard about the cancellation, we immediately felt that we needed to do something to show him and his scouts that we’re here for them.” https://www.loudountribune.com/all-star-comic-con-plans-holiday-party-to-help-boy-scout-troop/
  13. 2 points
    So a greater incentive to get Eagle sooner rather than later? Hardly seems a business letter. Date? Salutation? The news links seem serious. I wonder how quick xxx will make an offer to buy Philmont? My $0.01
  14. 2 points
    While we would like to get a lot of moms who already have outdoor skills, we don't need them to have the outdoor skills immediately. As with many dads who come into Scouting with little or no outdoor experience, and pick those skills up right along with their sons from camping and outdoor veterans, moms will learn alongside their daughters, most likely (in the beginning) from men with Scout camping experience who volunteer to help out in the girl troop. For now, we need to sign the moms up as female adult leaders in girl troops for YPT purposes. Get them signed up to just be there, and their daughters will get them out in the field.
  15. 2 points
    I think it would be awesome if a bunch of us gathered around a real campfire someday.
  16. 2 points
    Are the boys in these troops truly for it, or is it adults saying OK with being linked? I ask because in my neck of the woods, the majority of the boys are against being linked troops. But the majority of adults seem to have no problems. In the troop I just left, the majority of adults were fine with being a "linked troop." The adults stated it would be coed in all but name. However when they asked the boys, they were overwhelmingly against becoming a linked troop. Enough stated they would leave over being "linked" that the CO and adults backed off on it. I would go it alone if it would hurt existing Scouts.
  17. 2 points
    I think you're conflating issues here. Yes there are YPT rules. The point is that we shouldn't fall into the same trap we all describe the GSUSA of doing - assuming the women need to the leaders of troops with scouts who are girls. Aside from YPT rules, I envision a lot of fathers who are looking for ways to participate in the Scouting activities of their daughters. If my daughter wants to join a troop I'll volunteer.
  18. 2 points
    Looking back at this thread it seems I mentioned my impending trip to Brownsea, so it seems right to feedback... We actually did it. It's probably only a 2 hour drive from us, but I'd never, in 42 years of scouting (on and off, man and boy), been to Brownsea. Executive Summary: It was glorious. Okay the weather helped but...And had just enough of the heritage side of things, and "the feels" to be a great nights camping. We only went for one night, right at the start of our week long summer camp. There were 42 Explorer Scouts, aged 14-18, 18 girls, 22 boys, and 5 leaders. We had the hard work of getting all the kit together getting down to our main site, unloading, packing for the overnight, and dropped off to catch the ferry across the harbour mouth, then into the ferry to Brownsea itself. Once the ferry unhooked from the dock, I felt a weight lift off, that was it now, there's no ferry back until the morning, no shop, we'd just have to deal with anything that came up as and when, nothing more I could do except go with it. That was a good feeling to have. The ferry was all our own on the way over, as it was the last ferry, no day trippers outbound or they'd be stuck. We walked across the island to our site, not "the" site, that was next door I think. We set up our hammocks and tents, cooked dinner, no open fires, so it was trangias, hike stoves. In fact, they lent us some tables, as they didn't even want gas stoves on the floor due to the fire risk (it was a very dry summer). This was good, as I think the begging peacocks would have just helped themselves straight out the pot if they could have got away with it. One of the Explorers had brought a bluetooth speaker, I made them switch it off, it just didn't feel right. We were camped next to a large group of Scouts from Switzerland and Lichtenstein. The evening was spent walking down to an old quay at the other end of the island (photo two attached), Pottery pier, where the Explorers amused themselves practicing their skimming techniques, making mosaics like others had done, and having a paddle in the sea, while the sun set. Managed to sit quietly in the woods for long enough to see the native Red Squirrel, now rare in the UK thanks to the invasive Grey. In the morning, we had breakfast, fighting off the peacocks again. We wandered up to the commemorative stone marker, had the obligatory group photo, we then invested some of our new Explorers, and had a couple of leaders from the Lichtenstein group join us for the ceremony, as they were passing. A special moment I hope. One of our Explorers sported a blue and red necker for the rest of the week, and a leader in Lichtenstein now has one of ours. We then sat down while I read a couple of passages from Scouting for Boys, about a typical day schedule on camp, and BP on scout laws. Had a bit of free time, so some went searching for red squirrels, some went to the providore, where there's badges to buy, and some cases and displays of historical interest, as well as the ceiling of neckers (photo one attached), yes, one of ours was left behind to be put up at a future date. Time to leave and we walked back across the island, helped another group off the ferry who had brought approximately three bazillion tonnes of kit, so much kit and so long it took to unload that the ferry wanted to leave without us...we protested and jumped on. And that was that really. It definitely felt good to go, always good to meet scouts from around the world, and "walk in the footsteps" of BP.
  19. 2 points
    Post script, forgot one of the most important shifts: More campsites festooned by a dozen hissing propane lanterns...the sounds of nature and starlight shut out....
  20. 2 points
    I realized that I didn't answer your question in specific regarding folks from the Arab world. There are two words for Lord. They both imply master or all powerful, but differ in intimacy. One, famously recited in the Koran, "Lord of the Worlds." Another can also be translated as sire, or even landlord. That is more intimate, and more often used among Christians, specifically in reference to "my lord, Jesus". Now, a muslim may use the exact same words, but when he or she does, everyone knows they exclude the prophets (Jesus, included). And, thanks to modern media, everyone knows that those words from a Christian necessarily include Jesus. Even though I failed to teach my kids Arabic, I have tried to teach them contextualization. That is, it's entirely possible that, with the same words, someone is thinking of something different than you. And, with different words, they might be thinking the same thing you are thinking. And in both cases they may be wishing the best for you. Our language is a glass house, let the light in and use the stones to frame a welcoming hearth.
  21. 2 points
    As a Cub Scout Leader who is going through recharter, I can tell you we are losing scouts to sports and busy parents. I have had 0 parents tell me that girls, gays or god made a difference with their membership. What I have been told has been 2 major reasons for not joining or dropping.... - both parents work schedules are too much to support their child in scouts... if they could simply drop them off at meetings and outings... that could work. They don’t have time to help their son with PWD, etc.... already too busy. - Sports....they see sports, especially for boys, as the best way to grow their son. For those inside the program, we know the unique benefits and experience scouts provides. I don’t see the general parent population seeing it outside of the Eagle Scout. My guess is that if they de-emphasized Eagle, you would see even faster attrition... it is the one topic I consistently have parents from outside scouting ask me about when considering joining.
  22. 2 points
    For a proper pilgrimage to Scouting's roots, Brownsea island would be second on the list after Mafeking or as they call it now Mahikeng.
  23. 2 points
    Transferring this worthy question to the Faith and Chaplaincy Forum.... oh, wait....
  24. 2 points
    A large part of this stems from the charter partner concept. It gives the BSA packs and troops more permanace. In the BSA, units stay around a lot longer too. In the GSUSA, units tend to form around a group of girls. When they are done, so too are the troops. It may just be a local thing - but around here we see what they call multi-level GSUSA troops. These function much more like a BSA unit and have girls of all ages. Most tend to be large too as they pick up more membership from all the small troops that are at max capacity.
  25. 2 points
    I was asked to take three months off to give new SM some room. It was hard, but I believe it was as much a benefit for me as it was him. Barry