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  1. 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.
  2. 4 points
    Wow ... I don't think I have EVER heard of shaking hands as being either "out-of-date" or problematic in any way. It can't be generational; I am barely 34 and most of my friends are much younger; shaking hands is as common as any other kind of greeting. At the university I went to (BYU), people shake hands ALL THE TIME, whether it's greeting a new person or an old friend. Now I live back home in California, and it's still just as commonplace here in South Orange County as it ever was. ALL of the boys in our Troop shake hands with leaders when they greet (and each other when they remember), and I make it a point to act shocked and appalled whenever one of my Webelos Scouts forgets to offer his hand when I welcome him to our weekly meetings. I have yet to have any parents act shocked and appalled when I have attempted the same towards them. I admit, I remember being turned upside down when I got my Bobcat badge in the early 90's. I was a pretty small and sensitive kid, and I very strongly remember disliking the whole thing, despite the fact that both of my older brothers had the same experience and LOVED it. I, however, hated being turned down in front of a big room of strangers; it was uncomfortable and embarrassing and I felt ridiculed and silly. Oh, and then I grew up and got over it. Because that's what Scouting teaches you to do! You learn from tough experiences, and you become a stronger adult! I attribute much of the ease and comfort I possess speaking to large crowds the the things I learned in Scouting. Would I ever flip any of my boys around if I had the chance? Goodness no. But neither would I be so petty, so melodramatic, that I would condemn what truly is a harmless activity. The trauma it inflicts on the boy is only the springboard from which he can learn and grow. But you have to give them the chance to do it.
  3. 4 points
    Be careful what you wish for. BSA has been known to cave to peer pressure. All it takes is for one person to complain about WB "beading" ceremonies as cultural appropriation (use of beads, beads being Native American, etc.) and there go all your beads. Think it can't happen? Ask any Scouter who was in an OA ceremony team as a youth. No more "war paint", no more bare chests, no more firing arrows to start the fire, no more "taps" at tap outs. Did BSA have stupid ceremonies that put people in danger? Sure. Using rubbing alcohol on someone's chest and lighting it was a baaaad idea. Hanging a Cub Scout upside down -- something he does 10 times during recess -- is NOT even close to being dangerous. Well, no more dangerous than allowing Cubs to do skits around a campfire, go door to door to sell popcorn to strangers, go to the restroom at night while camping or earning their whitlin' chip. If adults keep taking away from the program the kids will stop coming. As noted above, did anyone ask the KIDS what they wanted? When my son was too young for Cubs I kept telling him about Y Guides and how he could dress up like an indian and learn native crafts. He was stoked!! First meeting the leader gets up and says, "Sorry, no more dressing as indians and doing indian stuff. We are now 'Explorers'." My kid stood up and said "I'm outta here. Let's go dad." Just like that the entire "tribe" folded. 10 kids all psyched to learn and respect native culture, turned off because the adults had changed the program. BSA is already headed down this path. You wait.
  4. 4 points
    For me it is still an organization that shares my values and reinforces what my children learn at home (I am LDS). The Scout Oath and Law are excellent moral guidelines, whether you are LDS, Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian, or Volunteer Fire Department. I see that they have just drawn their circle a little bigger. No Chartering Organization is being forced to adopt multi-gendered units - the LDS church has said they do not plan to change from male only units. COs also control their own staffing, so no unit is forced to accept leadership they are uncomfortable with. The guidelines from the LDS church used to say to register all young men ages 11-17 during annual rechartering. Going forward, ages 11-13 will be registered by default, but boys 14 and up will only be registered if they are pursuing Scouting advancement. After 2018, the church will no longer cover the fees for boys 14+ via the lump sum from Salt Lake, they will have to be paid locally by the boy, the family, or the unit. I have worked in the LDS Young Men program and Scouting for several decades, and I see this as a reflection of reality - only about 3rd of the older boys (my gut, no data to back that up) want to do traditional outdoor program Scouting, others have band, or sports, or jobs, and were just not using the program. The new LDS activity program for older boys is more activity based, almost like a Varsity Team or Venture Crew, and more open to/encouraging of being mixed gender in those activities. Speculation hat on: I think moving the older activities out from under the BSA wing has a component of being less regulatory - NRA certified instructor not required to do a shooting activity, or maybe take the boys paintballing, for example
  5. 4 points
    Often, scouts say "my dad made me" when they are bored or stressed. Kids don't know always how to express themselves and often don't communicate the real issues. Parents often tell their kids they have to do something. Sitting at home online playing games is easy and automatic. But it's also not acceptable to many parents. Sometimes that comes out as "My dad made me". I know one scout who is emotionally and socially stunted. He's getting better, but he'll always be a bit off. When stressed, he'll say his dad makes him be there. But we can also clearly see the benefit and growth he's experiencing. We can also see that many parts of the program he enjoys. So, I take that comment in the context of his growth and the fun he does have.
  6. 3 points
    I finally found the official BSA rules on hammocks: https://www.ncsbsa.org/resources/general_files/Home/Program Director/680-055_SafetyHammocks_WEB.pdf I'll just leave this here...
  7. 3 points
    You are correct - my comment was too harsh. Scouting Magazine continues to offer quite a number of valuable articles. My Pravda comment was a reaction to the happy-face presented in the magazine about the decision to admit girls. (i.e. "we don't know what it will look like, but rest assured it will be awesome".) It all seemed part of the coordinated manipulations from BSA National to ram through this change via a disingenuous process that I found disrespectful and even insulting to seasoned Scouters. My perspective has obviously soured and I now view BSA National leadership as untrustworthy stewards of something I have held dear.
  8. 3 points
    I appreciate this comment. I apologize, @WisconsinMomma, if you felt my words were unkind. They were not meant to be, and if a general statement I made was erroneously taken personally, I am sorry. But they were meant to be honest, which I cannot apologize for. I do believe that making too big an issue over a small thing is unwise, and a distraction - it takes our attention from the things that matter by focusing our energies on actions and behaviors instead of on people and individuals. We can focus all we want on whether handshakes or upside-down boys are right or wrong - but by so doing, we divert our attention from the boys themselves. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Now, I will not bring up the matter again, as it would be ungentlemanly of me to do so, and I apologize if you mistakenly thought my comments were directed towards you, or were rude or insulting. But when others disagree about the issues with which you yourself take umbrage, I ask that you will treat them with the same respect that you have requested of me. To suggest that my words were inappropriately intoned, while at the same time manifesting an open hostility towards the comments of others who are in disagreement over the issue of Cub Scout ceremony traditions, is equally unfair. I hope we can proceed with this topic in a more civil manner, holding myself as first offender, for which I offer my most sincere apologies.
  9. 3 points
    It was a Tenderfoot test to give the Scout Handclasp in the B.S.A., Boy Scout Handbook, 7th Ed. at p. 34 (1969). It was Joining Requirement to know the Scout Handclasp. B.S.A., Official Boy Scout Handbook, 9th (Bill Hillcourt) Ed., at pp. 11 and 47 (1980). As the "Scout Handshake," knowing how to give it s now a Scout rank requirement, B.S.A., Boy Scout Handbook, 13th Ed., at p. 10 (2015).
  10. 3 points
    You've never said WHAT your objection to the practice is. Because it's no good? What is the definition of that? What's the reasoning behind that conclusion? Because it's no good for your kid? OK, but does that mean it's no good for all kids? Here's the thing: Everything in Scouts is voluntary. Nothing is mandatory. But when you take options away, you lessen the experience. There are other fun things in Scouting that not everyone enjoys. Should we get rid of those, too? Some kids are terrified of the water. Is anyone making them swim at Scout functions? Should swimming be eliminated in Scouting? Camping? There are many things in Scouting that people that don't care for. But remember you are not compelled to do them. Nothing. And just because someone doesn't like it or don't want to participate, why does that mean nobody should? I've said before that the practice isn't a necessity and the ban isn't a death blow, but why was its elimination needed? For those who chose it, it was fun. Why is it necessary to take away the option of making a choice? Especially a fun one.
  11. 3 points
    Well, I don't think we're at that point. Unless you are saying that that has actually happened. If we ever do get to that point, where normal everyday human interaction is outlawed because it involves one person's hand briefly touching another's, it will be a sad and scary day world, and not one in which many people will be brave enough (or maybe that should be reckless enough) to volunteer for anything.
  12. 3 points
    I am tempted to respond, but I suspect that this is the point where a certain moderator would step in and tell us to stop arguing about who said what and get back to discussing the issues.
  13. 3 points
    Yes, parents are always, "concerned." My response is something in the order of: Adults don't interfer with the scouts elections. If the position is truly respected as a leadership position, then scouts generally want the right person, not the popular person. As scout has to earn respect. They can earn it simply by volunteering for outside responsibilities like leading the COHs, organize and lead service projects and offer to help out in program setup. That generally separates the wonna-be's from the gunna-be's. I found that troops where the elections are just popularity context are generally programs where the adults have low expectations of the scouts' performance. Barry
  14. 3 points
    It's British. http://hmvf.co.uk/topic/18314-58-pattern-sleeping-bag/ suggest using a NikWax wash. REI has this advice for down. https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/caring-sleeping-bag.html
  15. 3 points
    If your are more interested in the experience of the BWCA than the Northern Tier patch, it's more affordable and enjoyable to use a private outfitter. Pro: Route flexibility. The only reservation is your Entry Point and pick-up. If you get into a poor campsite one night, move on. Bad weather? Tent up for a day. Leisure. If you're in a good spot, linger an extra day and enjoy the wilderness. Work on Scout skills, teach a merit badge. Unstructured time for campers to bash around an have fun. My approach to covering distance is to get out of civilization. Once you're in deep, logging miles so that you can brag about paddling X number of miles is missing the point. Fishing. Plentiful Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Northern Pike. Walleye, if you know how to catch them, makes the best eating fish. Campsite improvement opportunity. Improve the fire ring seating, clear the landing area, cut back the latrine trail. Blowdown trees were everywhere. Folding saw and tomahawk were in frequent use. Teach Paul Bunyan before you leave. Hammocks! They pack light, sleep well, and not allowed at Philmont. Group composition. Without YPT concerns, you can take anybody you want, as long as you stay with in the BWCA rules. My dog was an excellent bear alarm. Con: No patch. You have to plan more yourself. http://bwca.com/index.cfm? Bear in mind that some portages are more difficult due to the vertical content. Three miles of flat and smooth is easier than one mile of up and down, especially if it's steep and rocky. Go prepared for the bugs. Avoid black fly season. Mosquitoes after dark can be brutal on the way to the latrine. Avoid marshy campsites. Our best was an exposed point on Disappointment where the breeze kept us bug-free for 2 days.
  16. 2 points
    (I started this in Issues in case it goes down hill) I was wondering what the others on here have noticed the editorial changes in Scouter Magazine. Just got the latest issue Saturday and I was startled by the difference in it and Boys Life (my sons read both and we usually comment on them). All non-snark aside. Is it just me? What I noticed was: (1) Scouter's cover article was on the benefits of a man who took his son and daughter camping. Other than mentioning he was a Scouter it was mostly just talking about solo camping trips. Did not seem that related to scouting at all. Was not even that good a camping article...could have been in Good Hosuekeeping or something. This is the second time I have seen these kind of vague 'non-scout camping is fun' articles. Nice but is this aimed for the new leader who never does it? Is this just a new editor? The issues seem unfocused. (2) Several articles about the Jamboree which is fair enough. Seems like the the band that some folks had an issue with got a picture but the President's speech did not. I here he is isn't much of a reader so maybe BSA is safe from a Twitter feed on that one. (3) A health(?) article on keeping one's mind sharp which could have been in any free drug store adver-zine. (4) A long article about a (I am sure very nice and generous) LDS donor who seemed to have a very, very tenuous relationship to scouting (he heard it was really great, and had a nephew who had, I think, with two eagle scouts). (5) An article on ideas for gifts to give Scouters for under $40 (maybe that should be in Boys Life, hint hint) ' (On the contrary my Son noticed Boy Life doubled down on Guns, ropes, and jerky in the latest issue. He wondered if the NRA bought out the issue.)
  17. 2 points
    You are just trying to be helpful, the Great Summit Bechtel Reserve Resort and Amusement Park is not gonna pay for itself....
  18. 2 points
    I was reading about Canfield's closing and comments about them losing income due to their BSA distributorship ending. http://www.omaha.com/money/canfield-s-sporting-goods-to-close-after-years-in-business/article_24f5e53c-daa0-11e7-868b-d3258181146a.html I remember when I was a kid that our local five and dime had a scout corner / section for stuff. I think that scout shelf marketed BSA to the moms that shopped there every week and helped show to those mom's that scouting was part of a normal childhood. When it was removed, it separated BSA from where moms shopped weekly. Now you only see scout shirts if you are in a scout shop or at a scout event. Now, you have to drive out of your way to a specific store to get scout stuff (or go online). The key is now you have to be decided to be in scouts before you see the materials. Before, you saw the materials before you decided to introduce scouts to your son. Heck, imagine three and four year olds walking with their moms seeing those scout uniforms. I think it would also help create interest in them too. I really wonder if we should return to the old model. Should BSA use established stores as distributors of BSA goods? Maybe Cub Scout uniforms and crafts at craft stores such as JoAnne Fabrics, Michael's and Hobby Lobby. Boy scout stuff at Cabelas, Dick's Sporting Goods and enough others to get a good presence. BSA would save on the physical stores and staff. BSA would gain huge visibility. BSA would still have their on-line presence. I just question the cost effectiveness of the stores. BSA has made several huge mistakes because of the weight and value they put behind the "BSA" brand. I think it was a huge mistake to make the BSA materials less visible in the community. If anything, you want the opposite. Get it out there far and wide.
  19. 2 points
    Regarding sizes, I remember the 'Made in the USA" merchandise was sized properly. The shorts and pants with elastic were sized with the elastic fully expanded. So the Scouts, and some Scouters , could buy a size or two bigger and have room to grow into. Last time I bought new pants, ok the son bought them with his Christmas money, it took several tries to get the right ones for my son. And when national put the Gen 1 switchbacks on sale, I heard they were sized too big. That wasn't a joke. I took the risk and bought XLs and Ls. XLs were HUGE, and thankfully I was able to sell them to someone. The Ls I still have, and they are a little big. I should have gotten the Mediums. Regarding the quality, my son's pants were so shoddy, they wore out in the buttocks within 6 months. Got a replacement pair free, thank you warranty, and they too wore out within 6 months. By that point, we saw a pair of the old red pocket piping pants. THOSE SUCKERS WERE INDESTRECUTABLE! Only reason he doesn't have them still is he outgrew them. Now he's using a pair of ODL shorts, and they are holding up extremely well.
  20. 2 points
    If it’s like gaming boards it’s guys who get to know the board owner and share their views. They try to be fair but usually end up showing favoritism in some way or form. Some are good and some not. It’s like anything else I suspect. On those boards people just ignore them.
  21. 2 points
    Old fat middle aged men struggling to get our of a hammock look remarkably like a turtle trapped on his back....anything for the enjoyment of the lads.
  22. 2 points
    I would think not a problem ... for a Turtle.
  23. 2 points
    If I am in Japan I will bow. If I am in France I’ll do the kissy thing. If I am in Sweden (and they’re girls) I’ll pretend I’m French and do the kissy thing. If I’m in the USA I’m shaking your hand whoever you are. That’s what we do.
  24. 2 points
    Broward County, Florida honor roll student cut a peach in half with what even the school called a "butter knife." “This is a set of a spoon, fork and knife for toddlers — one year old,” the girl’s mother, Andrea Souto, added. “It is made for children to learn how to eat properly. She’s used it since she was baby.” "11-year-old suspended for violation of school’s ‘weapons policy’ after sharing fruit with a friend." Her "case" was turned over to the State's Attorney for further criminal proceedings. PHILADELPHIA – A 10-year-old girl was placed in handcuffs and taken to a police station because she took a pair of scissors to her elementary school. School district officials said the fourth-grade student did not threaten anyone with the 8-inch shears, but violated a rule that considers scissors to be potential weapons. Administrators said they were following state law when they called police Thursday, and police said they were following department rules when they handcuffed Porsche Brown (search) and took her away in a patrol wagon. "My daughter cried and cried," said her mother, Rose Jackson. "She had no idea what she did was wrong. I think that was way too harsh." Police officers [that is, adults] decided the girl hadn't committed a crime and let her go. However, school officials suspended her for five days. Administrators will decide at a hearing whether she may return to class, or be expelled to a special disciplinary school. The scissors were discovered while students' belongings were being searched for property missing from a teacher's desk. School district officials have promised a crackdown on unruly students this year, and new policies give administrators the power to expel students for infractions as minor as violating the dress code, chronic tardiness or habitual swearing. Administrators say the steps are needed to regain control over a notoriously unruly school system, but some parents have complained that discipline has been overly harsh and that school officials have been too quick to call police about minor problems." "Josh Welch, a second-grader at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, was suspended for two days because his teacher thought he shaped the strawberry, pre-baked toaster pastry into something resembling a gun. WBFF, the FOX affiliate in Baltimore, broke the story. Welch, an arty kid who has reportedly been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, said his goal was to turn it into a mountain, but that didn’t really materialize." We put our precious children into the power of these pathetic excuses for "teachers," a title that should be one of honor. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ "There is a no more stupid, or more dangerous way of making decisions, than to put those decisions in the hands of those who pay no price for being wrong."Thomas Sowell
  25. 2 points
  26. 2 points
    I'm thinking I read it somewhere, I may be wrong, though, that there was some BSA publication, maybe one of the books somewhere, where one of the requirements might have had something to do with something called a Scout "handshake". A bit of a brief explanation and maybe a picture. Maybe @TAHAWK can drum up a reference for it from somewhere.
  27. 2 points
    I admit both my disgust and disappointment with this thread. I was working with two out of state contractors this week who are scout leaders. They both told me their number one issue in running the troop is helicopter parents. The couple of their examples were very reminiscent of this discussion. While we had to deal with a couple of over zealous moms, it wasn’t anywhere near the number one issue. Both these leaders believe bringing in girls will kill the program as we know it. Im so glad my son’s got to experience a boy run program. Barry
  28. 2 points
    As a college student and recent grad I can tell my friends and I shook hands and didn’t mind the pat on the shoulder. We know all adults aren’t pedophiles and you usually get a vibe when someone’s doing creepy touches. In all my scouting there was only one person who did that and we let our Sm know. Any kids who don’t want to shake hands or such are just being disrespectful. A scout is courteous so even if you don’t want to shake hands you do so out of courtesy. Would you forgive a scout for being unkind because he didn’t feel like being kind? No so it’s dumb to say it’s okay for them to not shake. As far a special ceremonies these make scouting special. When you take them away the guys get ticked off and disappointed. Keep the special ceremonies.
  29. 2 points
    My time spent on an OA ceremonies team is some of my favorite memories of Scouting as a youth. I am also an associate chapter advisor. The guys in our chapter have a lot of fun and it's a great experience for them, but when us "old timers" tell stories about what we were doing as ceremonialists back in the day, ..well, you can tell the youth are jealous.
  30. 2 points
    New Age leadership doesn't really care about what the boys want. What seems to be more important is finding new witches to burn and congratulating themselves on making things 'safer'. While it may indeed be 'safer', it is also less fun. And less fun translates into fewer Scouts. Rinse and repeat.
  31. 2 points
    *Rant On* BSA National made it abundantly clear that they do not respect the opinions of people like me when they rammed through these changes under the pretext of manipulated data and disingenuous surveys using oddly-worded questions that forced agreement with their predetermined outcome. It is incredibly insulting (and enraging) to hear Mike Surbaugh brag about the sham process they concocted and how this was all in response to popular demand. Within our troop organization, I don't know a single Scouter (male or female) who is in favor. This decision smacks of desperation as BSA struggles to maintain membership. Financial solvency under the heavy debt load ($400M) for development of The Summit may be the real motivator. BSA leadership claims this is the result of long and careful deliberation, but where is the evidence of thoughtful planning when they can't even describe what the future girl program will look like? I sincerely believe that this move will alienate more boys than it will attract girls for a net loss of overall enrollment. In a decade we will all know if Surbaugh was the person who saved or killed Scouting in America. Or maybe it will just look like Scouts Canada which is now primarily a girl organization and in rapid decline. *Rant Off* An unmentioned point: I have three daughters and even they object to these changes. Their response was "Why ruin things for the boys?". These activities don't appeal to two of my daughters - their passions are in the performing arts and sports. My eldest daughter likes camping and hiking and even backpacking, but from her experience with church camps she knows that she doesn't want to do it with a bunch of other girls (her words - not mine). She also knows about Venturing but has no interest in joining because her teenage life is full with other pursuits. This was mentioned in another thread. Our troop is local, but nothing else. Nobody is forcing us to accept any of these changes. We can keep things just as they were a decade ago. Unless we participate in a merit badge midway, or a Camporee, or a JLTC, or an OA induction, or a BSA summer camp, or a Jamboree, or a high adventure base, or a ... Nobody forces me to inhale their second-hand smoke. It's entirely my choice if I decide to breathe.
  32. 2 points
    To this day I do not remember the name of my patrol, but I do remember the names of everyone in it.
  33. 2 points
    Gentle Scouters: Beside the BSA regulations and standards of advancement and rank, You seem to forget that "All Scouting Is Local" I have known of Cub Packs who decided to end the madness. The Pack ALL wears ONE type of necker. The yellow traditional one. The various hats are another matter....
  34. 2 points
    The Scout Store has a bunch of random stuff for under $10. I got a multi-function little doohicky there that had binoculars, a compass, mirror, magnifying glass, et cetera for only $8 there. It was cheap and poor quality but WOW the boys fought for that little thing!
  35. 2 points
    The rule is appropriate for a specific application. The problem is zero tolerance doesn't allow judgment of application. We had a local situation where the student was punished for a butter knife that fell out of his lunch sack. Mom had put it there to spread the condiments on his sandwich. I honestly do not understand why schools feel the need for "zero tolerance" anything. Barry
  36. 2 points
    It happens. Best bet is to just keep on doing his best. If the boy is enthusiastic, at least he's making the best of the situation. Ideally, we want motivated kids who want to be there, but sometimes we get kids who don't want to be there.
  37. 2 points
    For my money the SPL and the PLC, along with the SM, are responsible for making the meetings interesting. One thing BSA does well is the availability of the Troop Program Resources and Troop Program Features. They have been available in PDF for as long as I can remember, and now they are available online. A good troop should include how to use these tools as part of their TLT; making sure PLs and SPL/ASPLs can leverage these guides easily and properly. Once that's done, planning good meetings should not be a chore. It will never be 100%, but it will be a whole lot better than it was.
  38. 2 points
    Are you an eagle bored of review?
  39. 2 points
    I believe that's adding to the requirements, which simply say that you have to have the names of references. Strictly speaking, there is no requirement to have letters of recommendation returned at all, much less the extra hassle of getting two people that have recommended you to show up. Check with your SM or Advancement chair, not "someone in your troop."
  40. 2 points
    @WisconsinMomma, while there are plenty of opportunities for conflict resolution, why waste this one? I mean, learning how to do a practical joke when you're 13 and among people that understand how to do practical jokes is a lot better than waiting until you're in a frat and people are forcing you to drink shots. This may sound extreme but a lot of kids do not have any opportunity to screw up before they're sent off to college where they suddenly have much more freedom and no experience on how to deal with it. This is the whole point. The adults telling the scouts not to do something because it might go bad is not at all the same as the scouts figuring it out on their own. Yes, snow shoeing in an avalanche zone is not the place to let them learn the hard way. But practical jokes are fine. The scouts will eventually forget what the adults said. They will not forget the time they messed up and had to deal with the consequences. When I was a scout we were sent off looking for smoke shifters and sky hooks. That is now called hazing or bullying. It is neither. Sure, it could go bad but if done right It is an opportunity for the younger scouts to learn how to take some discomfort with a smile, the older scouts to learn how to watch for where the line is on each scout, the adults to bite their tongues, and everyone to have some fun. I'm sorry if I seem to be going on about this, but it seems that some of the best lessons that scouts could learn about dealing with other people are being taken off the table. They can also be fun.
  41. 2 points
    NO they are not. Let's stick to the topic please.
  42. 2 points
    Gatekeeping is the appropriate ,and noble, description in my mind of the EBOR responsibilities. For the award to have merit, presented accomplishments require accountability. To many adults show fear of responsibility in front of the scouts, which is ironic because the world expects accountability and the BSA markets itself as a program for building men of character. That being said, all scout leaders have responsibility of understanding the program they present and judging the scouts actions "fairly" within the published BSA program expectations. Gatekeeping carries a high burden of responsibility. Barry
  43. 2 points
    I am a traditionalist with conservative values. Lately, Scouting has been all about breaking with tradition and embracing liberal norms on sexuality and gender. The fact that BSA permits me to retain my own personal values does not change the fact that Scouting has changed in fundamental ways and is no longer the great fit it once was. That is how Scouting walked away from me.
  44. 2 points
    I'm going to quote the Second Doctor, aka "The Hobo," "HHHMMM, I see you changed things. I don't like it." The yellow and blue neckerchief with a wolf's head is the oldest of all Cub Scout neckers as it is the original one. I don't like breaking traditions. Bad enough they are the wrong size.
  45. 2 points
    Not to worry, this process is nothing more than authoritarian gate-keeping and bullying of scouts who have earned the rank. The EBOR is not a final test, it is not a judgment, it is not an evaluation of a Scout's career. All BOR's are held AFTER THE RANK HAS BEEN EARNED. Instead of questioning the validity of a scout's record, I would be first in line to question the validity of the members of the BOR. They obviously haven't been trained correctly as to what the process is all about and yet, feel they can jerk the boys around at will. If they are worried about protecting the validity of the Eagle Rank, maybe they ought to be thinking about protecting the validity of the EBOR process instead.
  46. 2 points
    The LDS church is looking at a new youth program to be deployed worldwide. This message has been plainly communicated previously and was publicly reaffirmed as recently as October 11, 2017 in response to BSA's decision to admit girls. To say the church has no such plans is simply wrong. July 2015: "With equal concern for the substantial number of youth who live outside the United States and Canada, the church will continue to evaluate and refine program options that better meet its global needs.” January 2017: "In recent years the Church has made several changes to its programs for youth, and continues to look for ways to better serve its families and young people worldwide." October 2017: "We recognize that the desire of the BSA is to expand their programs to serve more young people in the United States. The church, too, continues to look at ways to serve the needs of our youth worldwide." Details of the new church youth program are as unclear as details of BSA's new Scouting program for girls, but it seems both are inevitable. At present we have no way of knowing if LDS departure plans triggered BSA's decision to admit girls, but time may soon reveal the answer to that question. The long good-bye continues as the LDS church announced on December 1, 2017 that it will discontinue its annual Philmont conference for high-level church leaders. Is this just a coincidence, or is the LDS church ramping down its Scouting investment as an exit is prepared? https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900004968/lds-church-discontinues-its-annual-leadership-conferences-at-philmont-scout-ranch.html The reader comments at the end of that article are especially interesting because nobody is stepping forward to defend BSA. I see a bitterness toward BSA from general church membership that is far more extreme than anything coming from church leaders. Not surprisingly, Friends of Scouting donations have plummeted. As Scoutmaster, I cannot in good conscience ask others to give when my own contributions have ceased. FOS is just one data point, but it does not bode well for LDS Scouting moving forward. Decision-making in the LDS church is very top-down, but program implementation happens from the bottom-up. Front line LDS volunteers were minimally engaged in implementing the Varsity and Venturing programs. Even if they perhaps called it a Varsity Team or a Venturing Crew, in practice it was really just Scouting for older boys who wanted to finish their Eagle. Church leaders eventually stopped resisting that reality and pulled the plug on Varsity and Venturing. If disenchantment with BSA reigns among LDS families because of recent unpopular decisions, Boy Scouts will become an ineffective program and church leaders will replace it as well. I certainly do not speak for the church, but I will offer my personal observation. I did not walk away from Scouting - I have stayed the same. Rather, Scouting walked away from me. As an Eagle Scout and an avid adult Scouter, I find it all tremendously sad. When (not if) the LDS church officially severs ties with BSA, I will be ready to embrace the decision.
  47. 2 points
    One thing to be careful of is bringing ANY knife to summer camp if outside your state. We went to summer camp the first year I was SM at a camp several states away, so we needed a bus to get there. I was busy doing all my pre-camp prep (logistics, etc.) when I happened to catch an old, old thread here about knife length and state laws. Turns out that if ANY of our Scouts had a knife anywhere on the bus that was 3" or longer they were violating state law in one of the states we were travelling through. A quick inquiry to the state police confirmed what I read. In short, anyone with a BSA pocket knife would have been in violation of that state's law back then. The state police's solution? Put them all in one bag and have that bag at the front of the bus in case we get pulled over. Oh, and the bus did get pulled over. We showed the trooper the bag and told him why we did it. He said, "Ya'll are a well-armed troop!"
  48. 2 points
  49. 2 points
    Not to be contrary but I joined a patrol back in the day. My PL lived 4 doors down and he recruited me. No Recruitment patch nonsense, a PL recruited the members he wanted in his patrol. When I became a PL, I did the same. Maybe that is something that has been lost from the Patrol Method or PL responsibilities over the years. My $0.02
  50. 2 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.
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