Jump to content


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/15/18 in Posts

  1. 7 points
    A side note on the importance of earning Eagle. When we went to Sea Base this year, 2 of our Eagles who just aged out went with us as adults. In the airport, someone noticed that one was wearing his Eagle badge and because of it, bought the crew a dozen donuts. So Eagle is all that and a box of donuts.
  2. 4 points
    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
  3. 4 points
    When unread “technicality” I immediately thought something like a Merit Badge was completed but not recorded properly, or paperwork was turned in but a signature was in the wrong place, or maybe he had an extended illness that delayed him. Those are technicalities beyond the Scouts control. There are remedies for those situations. But the time in rank is a well known and well documented requirement. That requirement nearly caught up with me more than 3 decades ago, it has nearly caught up with several Eagles I have mentored. It did trip up one I mentored. It is not a technicality, it is a requirement. And it’s not one I hear people complain about being unfair. I do not feel sorry for him, he had a good Scouting experience based on the article. It looks like he has good character based on his comments. I say congratulations on what you have achieved. Nothing is preventing him from continuing as a Scouter, most Scouters are not Eagles. If he chooses not to become a Scouter based solely on feeling slighted by not earning his Eagle then he probably shouldn’t have earned it in the first place. If he does become a Scouter he will have a significant life lesson to pass on to his Scouts. It’s not a technicality if you show up for a college exam 2 hours late and fail the test. It’s not a technicality if you fail to take a licensing exam prior to your deadline. It’s not a technicality if you don’t complete a project by the time the client needs it. If there is some technicality, like I listed above, then I would support National In giving him some more time, but I don’t see that in the article. Eagle Scout is not a participation trophy given out because you tried hard or you are a good kid, it is earned based on then prevailing rules. Congratulations to this young man, it appears he has a bright future with or without having earned Eagle.
  4. 4 points
    Semi-related reflection: I've been a member on several Eagle boards over the last few years.... Looking back, only a couple of the candidates could really stand on their feet and tell their story. The others were at a loss when asked specifics about their leadership experiences, their project, etc. Even easy/softball-type questions about their experiences on the scouting trail would bring about mumbling and vague answers. Without mom/dad/SM in the room feeding them the answers, they were at a loss. The board wasn't a big event for them, a chance to shine. No. It was just another thing they were told to do. A hurried project finished days before they aged out. It was a given they'd pass. You could tell. "You have to pass them. After all, they've met the requirements!" More than anything, this modern mantra has collectively cheapened the rank any Boy Scout wears, be it Tenderfoot or Eagle. (As well as it's ancillary mantra, "No retesting once they've earned the rank/badge, it's against the rules and just plain mean!")
  5. 3 points
    That is an exact description of what my son did, except that he does not have a learning disability. He just procrastinated in spectacular fashion. Literally, if it had rained on the last non-school-day before his birthday, his project would not have been completed in time, and the issue would have been whether it was "complete enough," which would not have been a good place to be. But he made it by the skin of his teeth. Has he improved in the past eight years? Well, he graduated from a 4-year engineering program in 4 years, and now he has had a job with the same company for almost 4 years, and he's still there, and has apparently gotten steady raises and has paid off his student loans and is living under his own roof (well, someone else owns the roof, the point is, it's not MY roof), so the available evidence would suggest, yes, probably.
  6. 3 points
    $100 bet? I'm shocked...shocked to find gambling is going on here.
  7. 3 points
    I have been reluctant to reply as I was unable to attend NOAC. I did however have a long conversation at last weekends Vigil inductions with a friend who has been performing / advising ceremonies for over 40 years, and has often served as a NOAC judge as well. It seems there was a one hour seminar devoted to this subject, that ran almost three hours. So as best as my sleep deprived brain can recall... National was receiving 4-6 phone calls or emails a month complaining of cultural theft. That's 48-72 per year out of how many thousands of AoL ceremonies? But this is National. They seem to panic at any negative press now days. So they decided to rework it and take it out of local hands. The first draft was written by the two guys who rewrote the Brotherhood Ceremony a few years back. Then it was handed off to the Cub Exec Committee. Which is why, I guess, it is such a " lame, corny " skit. As well as a rather shameless plug for expensive high adventure camps. The attendees were assured that there is no plan to change anything else. Callouts, Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil will remain as they are. Of course there was " no plan to let girls into Boy Scouts " either. Call me cynical Oldscout PS. So far, every scout on my team wants to go with a Standing Bear Productions LLC model
  8. 2 points
    Den Chief is a service to the troop. It promotes a healthy connection between the pack and the troop. It is rightly a troop leadership position and it is a key one. I would require nothing of the scout. But I might regularly email the cub master or the den leader to see how the scout is doing.
  9. 2 points
    From a different forum thread, a Scout has been denied Eagle by BSA National because he missed the age deadline by two months. There has been community outcry and petitions over this. See https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/greenburgh/2018/08/15/boy-scouts-no-eagle-rank-greenburghs-hari-channagiri/996348002/ So if the CO, CC, and SM have a thoughtful organized dissent with BSA National over this issue, I guess it's ok for them to just go purchase some Eagle badges on eBay and award them to the boy anyway, right? We are justified in disobeying BSA National (over any issue I suppose), so long as we are thoughtful and organized in our defiance, right?
  10. 2 points
    He wasn't just a few hours or days short of the requirement...he was TWO MONTHS short. He and everyone else knew this at his Life BOR and it should have been a topic of major discussion at that time. Sorry...the requirements were not met.
  11. 2 points
    Any life scout who wants to do an Eagle project may do so. There is no reason deny him that privilege. I certainly would never say to a boy, "You can't do a project. You earned Life rank at age 17.51." I might say, "You know that no matter how awesome this project is, you will not qualify for Eagle rank. But, you'll have something awesome to be proud of. And, if this is a conservation project and you think you'd like to do four more of these, come talk to me about the Hornaday award." Nobody besides the scout needs to pay attention. Nobody should. Even if nobody else is paying attention, he should read his Handbook.
  12. 2 points
    I don't know the details as I haven't seen the article, but...get ready for it...When I was in Scouts I constantly heard the SM and ASM reminding, warning, and generally nagging the older Scouts to get to work, to pay attention to their time qualifications. I was a fairly timid kid and this stressed me out. I was always looking ahead...admittedly I was not the most organized person but I tried to stay on top of things as best I could. Eventually I got my Eagle at 16 and was pretty proud of myself. Having low self-esteem most of those teen years, I felt if I could do it then surely anyone else could. And I had little patience for the older boys whining about how they didn't know what to do or they weren't going to make it. At summer camp when I met my first LDS troop they had a 14 and a 15 year old Eagle. Took me down a peg and really just blew me away. Sometimes it's the individual, sometimes it's the family or troop, but somewhere in the mix you have to have some drive to push past "good enough" and to soar. Cubs have a new book for each rank, Scouts only 1 and all the requirements are in it. Nothing hidden from lower ranks. Disappointment sucks. Rules are rules. He did the work, National made a decision, he is copacetic about it. I'm certain time-management will be at the front of his mind for awhile. But from here out, if he can get that much work done in such a short time I'd want him in OA. That kind of work ethic he could do a lot for the Lodge, maybe earn Vigil before he aged out. Or even after serving as an adviser.
  13. 2 points
    It sounds like your Pack and Den are active, involved, "For the Cubs". That is as it should be. But the Cub Den should be the "Gang" the kid (be they boy or girl) wants to hang out with. Camping is great, gets the kid ready for Boy Scouts, but there should be other stuff for the Cub too. Go to the zoo, go to the museum, the Police Station, the dad's work site, that model Railroad, camp out on a ship (Baltimore Harbor has this), visit a County Maintenance Garage, the State Environmental Protection Agency Lab, a newspaper printing plant, the Bus Transit Garage, anywhere that is DIFFERENT than school. Organize a softball league among the area Cub Packs, go to a minor league game, pro soccer game (call for "Scout Discounts"), University Astronomy Observatory or planetarium. The Pleides meteor shower came by this past weekend, given a dark clear sky, look for those opportunities to lay on the ground and just WATCH. MiF, KiS…..
  14. 2 points
    If there is one thing I'm a stickler for, it's standards and requirements. " I did all the things you're supposed to do to become an Eagle." No you didn't. Plain and simple. Perhaps someone should ask this scout which other requirements he feels are optional, or how comfortable he would feel if someone else was awarded the rank having not completed a requirement that he did. Eagle project? Number of merit badges?
  15. 2 points
    Well if he learned anything in Scouting, maybe it will be to follow rules and meet deadlines. This learning experience should prepare him for RPI and an engineering career. My $0.02
  16. 2 points
    I think it's rare these days to arrange for Mass at scout camps. It was the norm when I was a kid. Frankly there just aren't enough priests available to do it as often. I think it is something that should be taken into consideration for something like Woodbadge. The leaders should at least find out local Mass (and Synagogue) times and make them available and make sure that attendance can be accommodated. I'm not a fan of scout's own services partly because I find them almost inevitably not non-denominational enough, and partly because they don't fulfill my obligation to attend Mass so they don't meet my religious needs. For my own troop, we're sponsored by a Catholic parish, if we're not going to be back home before the last Mass of the day, we find a parish near where we're camping and attend Mass there. We've learned to give the locals a heads up because we're usually talking about really small parishes where we may double the congregation and we want to be sure there's enough communion wafers available. One time we didn't and the priest asked us to let the regular parishioners go first; we were getting 1/4 servings by the end.
  17. 2 points
    It has been my experience (during my 32 years as an attorney) that when a lawyer makes an absolute statement like that (BSA can do as they please), which isn't really true, what they are really saying is that they don't think you have a good case, and/or they don't think they can make a profit from your case. But they don't want to tell you they don't think you have a good case, and/or they don't think they can make a profit from your case, so they tell you the BSA can do whatever it wants. I have seen attorneys tell potential clients all kinds of not-quite-right things (and occasionally just plain wrong things) in order to get the person off their back. I don't know if this is what happened to you, but when I hear about something like this I do get suspicious.
  18. 1 point
    So, I'm reminded that no matter what the deadline, there will always be people who push it. If national said "you can finish you tenure as an adult". Someone will start their 6 months of tenure the day after their 18th birthday. There would then be an article about the great Scout who had to complete his tenure as an adult, but was denied the rank. If you keep saying "we'll make an exception", then it will never end. It stinks, but it's reality.
  19. 1 point
    Mac, your words really resonate. I was a shy, clumsy, disorganized scout. I really had to work hard to stay on track and earn the rank. On the trail to Eagle, I was in 3 different troops, with 4 different SMs (post Eagle, add 1 more troop and 3 more SMs). I spent a lot of time reading my handbook, and in my own way, figuring out what to do next. One benefit of the much-maligned 8th edition of the BSA handbook: all of the requirements for all of the merit badges were printed in the back. And unlike present times, National didn't feel the need to constantly change requirements. Collectively, the attitude from my parents and SMs: "It's up to you."
  20. 1 point
    We see this in the UK quite a lot as well. Our highest mountain Ben Nevis, modest by your standards (4400 feet), is very easily accessible from the town of Fort William unlike many of the more remote mountains. There is also an easy to access and navigate path to the top which was built in the 19th century to service an old observatory that was built at the top. The combination of the two means that we get many people hiking to the top who simply don't understand the potential dangers. The summit is lost in the cloud typically 300+ days a year and is typically 12-15C colder than the town of Fort William. The result is that moutain rescue are continously coming to the aid of people who go up poorly equiped and not experienced. The point about the cloud is particularly important. To get from the summit back to the path you need to walk on a bearing and take a dog leg to avoid Gardyloo Gully. A few photos should show why you really REALLY don't want to stumble across it unwittingly! Other get cold, wet, get hypothermia, twist ankles without proper boots, you name it it happens. Learning the basics in something like scouts or guides could really save people an awful lot of pain and Fort William mountain rescue team an awful lot of time and money!
  21. 1 point
    Once again, we are losing sight of relative risk. Eight fatal accidents since 1992, a 10-fold increase in visitors. It sounds like the rate of visitor fatalities is plummeting. Kudos to the rangers' hard work. I think it is important for the public to know of fatalities that have occurred in a given area. High traffic areas need to be hardened. But, I think we need to soberly recognize that with more people comes more adverse events ... albeit fewer per person. For our scouts and scouters, I think there is something to "safe photography" training. We need to show them how Bear Grylls gets some of those cliffhanger shots without actually hanging from a cliff (at least not every time).
  22. 1 point
    The only two caveats I would have for going an "alternative route" would be to have a serious review of your Crossover/AOL ceremony to ensure that it is appropriate and does not use or promote stereotyping of N/A culture; and, make sure that any regalia is as spot on as possible for your local area. The ubiquitous 'ribbon shirt' is certainly okay in a pinch or where the local custom (due to climate, etc.) is to go bare-chested and wear a just a breachclout - use your judgement and common sense. Some of the worst offenders I've seen on things like YouTube is when all four Principals appear in full blown double trailer war bonnets - just because they may be cool to wear, doesn't mean you should. Again, research, research, research! Something like that would constitute a legitimate complaint by a N/A tribe/group. If you can't quite come up with appropriate headgear for various reasons (cost, availability of supplies, etc.), better not to wear anything than the glaringly wrong thing. OK - Off my soapbox :)
  23. 1 point
    I have mixed feelings about bringing in girls early and going coed. I think that following the rules of separate troops and dens is good. I think giving girls experiences is also good. When you decide to skip the rules it gets a little confusing to go on your own. I think it's interesting that this CO said, "push the boundaries". I wonder what kind of CO would do that? I guessed this was in California, but it's in Minnesota, which is too close to home for me! If I had daughters, I think I would want my daughters in a troop that follows the program. Because if a CO is winging it, do they lack discipline across the entire program? Do they follow YPT and the guide to safe scouting? How do you know what program you are getting if the organization is making stuff up as they go?
  24. 1 point
    As one who has worked camps and currently working with a large troop, your expectations to involve the staff in the visitation issues may be a challenge. If there is a court ordered restraining order, then entirely different set of circumstances. I have had families with those, it was not pretty. In the first week you advised you did not want the mother at camp. No mention of court orders, visitation documents, or custody paperwork being presented to the camp. Just that you did not want her at camp. On the second week, you did present some documentation, but expecting all of the camp staff to be fully aware of this may be an over reach. Your issue is with your son's mother. If she is in violation of custody agreements and court orders, then refer that through the legal system. Not excusing the staff and likely they could have done more. At the end of the day the issue is with the mom, not the camp. Hold her responsible for her actions.
  25. 1 point
    I have been passionate about Scouting for my whole life, but my motivation is driven entirely from interaction with the boys. I know there are many Scouters out there who derive great personal satisfaction from their relationships with other Scouters. BSA seems almost like a fraternal order to them. This is going to sound terrible and I mean no offense to anyone on this forum, but I really hate hanging out with other Scouters. That is why I have always dodged things like Wood Badge. If a Scouting event is not centered on the boys, I'd rather spend my time at home remodeling my kitchen - lol. Once again - please forgive my offense with this honest confession.