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  1. 13 points
    LOL..reminds me of the time when I was Cubmaster and a parent called to demand to know when meetings were going to start. I said, "as soon as you volunteer to become a Den Leader"...she got furious and demanded to speak to my "supervisor"...so I handed the phone to my wife.
  2. 12 points
    I've been thinking a lot about this over the past few days. I do indeed see things differently, though not in the ways many seem to think. I know this may not be the thread for this, but it is in response to a comment made in this thread, so I knew not where else to post it - moderators may remove it to a more appropriate thread without objection from me if that better serves the integrity of this topic. First of all, people are trying to "sequence" events, trying to determine which came first - a church move to exit Scouting, or incoming policy changes which the church found objectionable. I think the question is at this point irrelevant. Asking how we got to this point is no longer what matters - the question is, where are we now, and where will that lead us? For the church, growth continues throughout the world, in many lands at astronomical rates - Latin America, Western Africa, the Philippines - all are seeing incredible growth, and such continues in all other nations and domestically as well. It makes sense that we would want to unify all our members, and that starts with teaching the children (something every Scouter will appreciate). By unifying our programs, we are unifying youth all over the world in a shared program that will build harmony of faith, ideals, fellowship, understanding, and morality. Scouting has been a wonderful asset in helping the church understand the essentials of building successful foundations in the growth of young men - now we are equiped to create an equally effective program, but centered on our own unchanged and unchanging moral beliefs. For Scouting, those core moral beliefs are no longer clear. Unlike the church, which has a clear leadership structure based on one shared doctrinal foundation, Scouting must share the moral and philosophical beliefs of many hundreds of religions and ideologies - and far more so, it can be affected by popular opinion and partisan agendas. When the moral fiber of its society is srong, Scouting itself is all the stronger for it, because its leadership is inherently built out of an amalgamation of shared ideals. But when that society becomes divisive, demanding changes to the core values which Scouting once clung to, Scouting itself does not have the internal structural integrity required to withstand the pressure - in other words, Scouting does not have the inherent authority to repulse outside influences forever. The Boy Scouts of America has held out far longer than most other world Scouting organizations (Scouting UK's recent push to make its Scouts "employable" reflects drastically a complete abandonment of Baden-Powell's purpose of building men of character and not material ambition). For over 100 years, the BSA still believed that boys needed a special place of their own, a place where their unique character, temperment, energy and zeal for life could find a safe, healthy outlet - a place where they could commune with each other, with nature, and with God. Now, its internal structure, which was originally designed to openly allow invested, caring adults to share a guiding hand in protecting that environment, has been hijacked and usupred by conspiring men and women determined to use the BSA and its proud heritage as a platform from which to push their own selfish and destructive societal agendas - and the young men of this country are their primary targets. Now, it seems, they are winning greater and greater victories. Now girls are coming in, crowding out the safe space boys should have enjoyed by signing up for a program that wasn't designed for them, and which simply will not serve them like it serves boys. And so eventually changes will be made, and boys will slowly lose all the benefits that Scouting was meant to offer them. They will become marginalized in their own program. They will eventually be taught in Scouting that immoral behaviors should be tolerated, even celebrated. And soon this organization will no longer be the Boy Scouts of America. They will cling to that name for a while, till the advantages of that name are used up, and eventually it too is dropped. But already, that orginal program of over one hundred years, is almost gone. It may become a fun program, it may become an instructive program - but will not be the same program. That program, the Boy Scouts of America, the one founded by Baden-Powell, Beard, Seton, West, Hillcourt - that program does not exist anymore. The images you see in the Rockwell paintings, of boys in the woods and on the streets, in churches, communities, shelters, hospitals, backyards and living rooms, boys camping, fishing, serving, helping, caring - they are of an organization I believe will soon no longer exist. And so. Whereas before I felt that I was sad to leave, I realize now that to say Scouting is losing me would be a falsehood. Not that losing one volunteer would make any difference, but that I - that our nation - we are losing Scouting. The quote above stated "Who the BSA admits is less important to me than the core mission of bringing Scouting to the youth in the program." And this is just the tragedy. Scouting will no longer be brought to them, because Scouting is not simply the activities, the achievements, the adventures. It is the boys themselves who for 108 years have been blessed and protected within this inspired program. And now they no longer have it; it belongs now not to them, but to outside powers making changes that the boys cannot control, and cannot stop; and being young, they do not realize fully what is being stolen from them, nor will they be given the power to rescue it themselves. So yes, at the end of next year I will no longer be a part of Scouting. I will continue to deliver the program will all my heart, mind, and strength until then, within my unit, as the walls crash around me. But I will be sad (albeit not surprised) to find that I have stayed in my place, while Scouting has moved to a different world altogether. These decisions have not "overshadowed the core program." I believe they reject it entirely, but will inevitably use it only as long as it is useful to them. I only pray for the sake of the boys who remain that such will last for a small time longer at least. In many units with dedicated, inspired and visionary leaders, it may last much longer. I believe there will be many pockets of successful, true Scouting scattered all over the nation, and I look forward to hearing their stories of success against the waves of compelled change. But I will have other battles to fight then, and other programs to nurture, and other flocks to tend. I hope however that I and those brave units will be able to depend on each other for support and encouragement whenever we may we call upon each other. My prayer is that those future alliances will ever hold strong against whatever troubles may come.
  3. 11 points
    A patrol with two adults supervising it is no longer a patrol. It's a den.
  4. 11 points
    Hello Everyone... Sorry to bring an old post back to life, but I wanted to share an update, and maybe crow a bit. It started out as a slog, but our 2017-2018 program year wound up great. We did lose scouts when we decided to raise dues. I expected that, but I think it was okay. It cleaned out a lot of the people who were really using us as a babysitting service. I feel a little bad to say it, but people find tome and money for the things that are important to them. And scouting just wasn't important to the families that left. But most families, when they saw a budget and a breakdown of what we spend per scout each year, and where it goes... and how it still leaves us short if we only ran on dues, were more than receptive. We had great turn outs and effort for all our fundraising this year. So much so that we are gifting an AED to our local camp, buy the next years neckerchief slide for all scouts, cover the fee for all the adult volunteers going to resident camp this summer, AND, we almost have enough for a new PWD Track. It was amazing to watch the remaining parents go from disinterested to engaged as the year progressed. I stopped all the blah blah at meeting starts... Instead we did a few quick jokes or a skit and then broke into dens. Including the pledge, Oath, Law, and a joke or two, we'd be into dens meetings in 5-10 minutes max. Kids LOVED it. We did have some snafu's as parents had to retrain themselves a bit. All info went out via the facebook page and scoutbook. But eventually it was all good. Now when people say they missed something, they also tell me 'I forgot to check my email'. Awesome. I know you guys said not to worry about JTE, but it turns out that if you focus on running an engaging and active pack... JTE takes care of itself anyway. We hit gold without even thinking about it. And I was kind of amazed. I sat down one morning with lots of coffee and one of my ACMs. We were prepared to take all day to fill out the paperwork. Hah! I'm not sure what was so hard about it... we were done in an hour. We actually had to wait a while for council to get its ducks in a row to finish it. Even with the big drop in membership, getting our leaders trained, and getting kids to more activities more than off set it. I've got a whole list of great stuff we managed to do. And I have to thank you all again here for the great advice. I didn't take all of it, but I took most of it, and it worked... It worked so well, that I'm actually stepping down and leaving the pack! One of the ACMs and myself are restarting a pack that went defunct several years ago in our own town. We'll pull a few kids and leaders with us, but everyone is on board. We've had more parents step up and take on various leadership roles so we won't be leaving gaping holes. They have great systems and people in place now, and even though there's always more that can be done... it's a strong, committed team with supportive engaged parents! So I'm headed to a new pack with my sons and their friends. I'm excited that we'll be doing service projects and activities in our town, for their friends, families, and neighbors. And the town is super excited too. The masonic lodge is sponsoring us. The American Legion has already asked us to march in their parades and help place flags around town and on local graves next year. The town manager wants us to march in the fall festival and sell popcorn and meat sticks afterwards. The Masons are giving us the entire 3rd floor of their building. The principal at the elementary school, the town, the legion, and the fire department have all offered space as well. I look around and see near endless opportunities for service projects. And I'm really hoping that by having a pack right in town again, more would be scouts will be able to join us. What started off as a mountain of problems has become an embarrassment of riches, LOL. Now we'll have two solid packs in our district! Even better... I'm just going to be the ACM in my new pack, and my former ACM is taking over as cubmaster. And 2 of the other leaders coming with us are also joining us us for some more training: We're all 'headed back to Gillwill' this summer! Scouter life is good! Thank you thank you thank you all for your advice and encouragement!
  5. 10 points
    Follow-up: Assembly was this last weekend. My son went through Ordeal and did great IMHO. The old SM was there but didn't interact with him at all so that was perfect. Best thing of all, my son came home super jazzed about OA and Scouting. So it was a great outcome.
  6. 10 points
    As with any bully, the solution is simple. Ignore her. Do not respond to any of her emails on this subject. If she confronts you in person, simply tell her kindly and calmly "the issue is already decided." Do not offer up any other explanation, do not attempt to satisfy her demands, do not engage with her on this matter at all. She has absolutely no right nor authority nor legitimate reason to make any of these demands on you nor your son, so just let her scream and holler till her voice is hoarse and she collapses in frustration. These people always tend to dig their own graves, so don't waste your time trying to help with the process. DO make sure you are not condescending nor patronizing about it though; the more polite and civil you are during this episode, the more control you will have over the discussion. And your goal is to eliminate the discussion entirely. Kill her with kindness, and don't give her an inch. Sometimes, the biggest victories are won from the battles you choose not to fight.
  7. 10 points
    I haven't been around the forums for about a year. I was too busy with the Troop, the Crew, raising a son and working a paying job in between all of that. I also figured there would be a lot of drama with all of the changes in the BSA program. I came back yesterday only to realize that, according to most of the threads and posts on the forum, THE SKY IS FALLING, SCOUTING IS DOOMED and everyone is RUNNING, not walking, FOR THE EXITS. Just WOW. Former House Speaker Tip O'Neal would say that all politics are local, I would say all Scouting is local. Scouting is thriving where I am. The Troop had six Eagles this year - many of which started Cub Scouts together in the pack (and unfortunately, all of whom are graduating). We had eight Webelos crossover into the Troop. Net of incoming and outgoing, we are around 45. The three other Troops in the area reported a increase in the number of crossovers. The Crew is doing great and expanding its membership and having a lot of youth-planned and youth-led adventures. In the Troop, we continue to be extremely boy-led and the patrol method has taken hold. Ask any Scout who is the most important leader in the troop... four years ago it would be the SM, two years ago the SPL and now it is the PL. We picked up 4 ASMs this year, all of whom really get and are excited about boy-led (part of the reason is that my NYLT trained son functioned as a ad hoc Den Chief for the last couple of months of their time as Webelos and the adults were more than glad to have him teach them the skills they were learning). The new crossover Scouts accompanied the Troop on a Wilderness Survival campout in the Pine Barrens in May. It dropped down to 20 degrees that night. The next campout featured a bear wandering into our campsite as they cooked pizzas in Dutch Ovens and a 10 mile hike that was advertised as being "just over five miles" (my bad... I went from memory rather than checking the map. They keep coming back and seem more excited as a result of their adventures. As one Scout said, "this is what it means to be a Boy Scout." As I did their Scoutmaster Conferences for the Scout rank, one Scout told me he loves Scouts and that it the only reason he looks forward to Tuesday nights (and confessed that he had piano lessons in the afternoon). We have a Scout with Downs Syndrome and a Scout confined to a wheel chair. Every Tuesday they are among true friends and it is amazing to see the Scout Oath and Scout Law at work among the boys. I already have two boys who have challenged me to chess matches during Summer Camp. My son finished up his POR as ASPL and is looking forward to being on staff at summer camp (he was a counselor in training last summer). When he gets back, he is looking to do his Eagle project as a 10th grader. I've told him once he gets his Eagle, he will be a JASM. He is also finishing his stint as the Crew's President and is bummed he is missing some trips over the summer while he is at camp. Every time I see the Crew together, I'm just astonished at the bonds of friendship. It really has become a place where a bunch of goofballs can relax and be themselves and feel truly accepted. Fixating on what National comes out with and then looking at the worst possible implications doesn't help the Scouts. One of my favorite sayings (stolen from Richard Bach) is "says can't when means won't." That is what my reaction is to a lot of the posts of gloom and doom. Whatever the decision, rule or guidance, we decide how to implement it so that we deliver the program we know the Scouts deserve. Allowing girls to form Troops by National is neutral. How it works is dependent on how may of the folks here on the forums who know the right way to run a program step up. It is only a nightmare if implemented poorly. We need to convince people that the only way to do this is to do it right. It is up to us to build the groundwork necessary to have youth-led, patrol-based Scouting that focuses on being a game with a purpose played by youth in the outdoors. We are the coaches and it is up to us to help the Youth learn to play the game correctly. Our CO is implementing it right -- separate girl Troop, separate meeting night and letting the youth lead by deciding how much interaction they want to have between the two Troops and the Crew. We have had an amazing response of youth and adults to the idea. Build it and they will come. Whether we agree or disagree with the decision to allow girls, we should do everything in our power to make it succeed - not for the sake of National, but for the good of the Scouts we have promised to serve. The new G2SS guidelines are only an issue if you make it one. Our CO's youth protection policy for many years required two-deep adult leadership in patrol meetings. We work to have adults that are trained in what boy-led actually means (you observe and then talk to the leader after the meeting as a coach) and what the patrol method is (they are the cornerstone of the Troop). We have Patrol Leaders who are trained (by the older youth leaders in the Troop) in the leadership concepts of boy-led, patrol method and servant leadership. That prevents a leadership vacuum that adults instinctively find the need to fill. We let parents know that Scouting is a safe place to fail - and we let Scouts know it is better to try and fail then not to try at all. The adults and youth practice the Scout Oath and Scout Law -- it is all there and it works. On outings, we have enough adults to accompany the Scouts. We train the adults to be observers. The adults are last in line on the trail. The youth are in front, with a newer Scout leading and an older Scout guiding him. That is the way it is supposed to be. The last question I ask at Scoutmaster conferences is "are you having fun?" My answer is a resounding yes. I'm excited to see the boys take responsibility and lead the Troop. I'm excited to see the Crew grow into proactive leadership and form amazing bonds. I loved going to SeaBase with the Troop, I've loved sleeping in Adirondack shelters in 15 degrees as it snowed; I loved doing the Wilderness Survival campout; I've loved having guys over my house to starts fires using magnifying glasses, fire pistons, potassium permanganate and glycerin, batteries and steel wool and a bow drill; I loved going whitewater rafting with the Crew and I'm looking forward to a week at summer camp and a long weekend kayaking trip in Upstate New York. Best of all, I love the responses I get from Scouts when I ask them if they are having fun. I've learned so much about the right way to do things on this forum from @Stosh @qwazse @TAHAWK and others. Every time I become frustrated with adults -- be them in our Troop, District, Council or National - I remember why I"m doing what I'm doing. It is for the Scouts... my Scouts.
  8. 9 points
    Answer: !!!!!!!!!!!! NO !!!!!!!!!!!!! He should sew his own.
  9. 9 points
    Surely a parent that doesn't do everything for their child is just a Conditional Parent. Ian
  10. 9 points
    Many of us not wholly excited about the changes to the program are heavily involved in the program and have been now for many many (oh so many) years. We are running / working in our units day in day out, week in week out, monthly outings, Saturday night campfires, taps being played in the evenings, flag ceremonies, Courts of Honors, meeting with Scouts on advancement, running merit badge sessions, engaging the troop in high adventure, developing leadership among the boys, working to have them in patrols...all the scouting stuff one does out in the mud and the woods. We see the changes as fundamentally altering not the stated aims of the program, but the tenure and tone of the program. To believe that adding girls to the program and that tone and tenure of summer camps or outings if one is doing the Linked troop model, will be same as prior is to deny the obvious. I am not saying it will be necessarily bad, but it will be different from the program I grew up in and the program my son went through. That loss is what we mourn. At this point those of us not wholly excited can continue business as usual. Candidly I feel that in a few short years the separate boy and girl units or the linked models will give way to a full coed program. The pressure from aging girls (and their families) who do not have a unit to move to, or the one they start is new and inexperienced, so they will not be able to earn the Eagle will become a conversation about disparity and unfairness.
  11. 9 points
    http://nationalpost.com/opinion/barbara-kay-the-male-crisis-thats-ruining-our-boys-and-no-one-cares-about I’m posting this article because it hints to what many of us were saying during adding girls debate. The article is mostly centered around fatherless boys, but there is some mention of what boys need to develop their instinctive nature that I’ve talked about in other threads. For example: “As Farrell and Gray explain: “The traditional boy’s journey to self-sacrifice incorporated service to others, and required responsibility, loyalty, honour, and accountability. It created his mission. And his mission created his character.”” I get that the BSA has moved on and there is no going back, but just maybe a few here will be swayed to consider the needs of the boy, sperate from the girl, and bend their family scouting program, at least a little, toward that need. I know that as much as girls needed a program like the Boy Scout program, boys need it a lot worse. Barry
  12. 8 points
    Thank you @DeanRx I regret my assault on Surbaugh being a liar only because it diverted discussion away from my main point - that boys have now lost one of the few remaining programs tailored specifically for their needs. Schools judge boy behavior by the girl standard. Boys are treated like defective girls. Result: Boys earn lower grades, fewer honors, and are far less likely to go to college. Boys account for 70 percent of school suspensions. If these statistics applied to girls it would be seen as a societal crisis, but nobody cares because it is boys. With boys dropping out and girls racing ahead, just who will be the partners of our daughters to build the next generation? As boys fail, so does our collective future. I cheer on the opportunities and achievements of my three daughters, but it's my son who occupies most of my concern. He already struggles in navigating the world of women - at home (with his three sisters) and at school (with almost all female teachers). Scouting was his refuge to be a boy among boys, but no more starting February 2019. All of that is now sacrificed on the altar of inclusivity. It's terribly sad for me to see.
  13. 8 points
    There are few traits I would list as being utterly essential for a Committee Chair. Hopefully you find something on this list useful! - ORGANIZED Wow, how I wish our current Troop Committee chair possessed this trait! The best Chairs come into meetings with agendas ready, goals in mind, and a strict schedule they try to stick to as much as possible. They respect the time of the group, and work hard to ensure that meetings are productive, Scout-centered, and open to all interested parties. - POSITIVE The best Committee Chairs try to maintain a positive attitude during all activities and meetings, and they make a concerted effort to instill that same disposition in the Committee as a whole. They are diplomatic, tactful, and genuinely interested in hearing the thoughts and opinions of others. They refuse to let their position be used as a seat of power, but instead work to generate unity of purpose and action amongst the entire committee. They understand the importance of compromise, but still know when to be thoughtfully decisive. - COMPASSIONATE Most importantly, the most stellar Chairs that I have ever known always put others first. They are perpetually anxious to ensure that the boys in their unit receive the best program possible. They express gratitude for the work and efforts of others, and make sure parents feel welcome and involved. They know all the boys and leaders by name, and make it clear that they put Scouts before Scouting. They put long thought into how they can help struggling boys and families, and they are open to the feelings and concerns of everybody involved with the unit. They are openly thankful to the CO for all it does to support the unit, and regularly seek out opportunities to recognize those who help the unit grow and thrive. Obviously others may value other qualities in their leaders, but, these are a few character traits that I am deeply drawn to. Admittedly, I have only met one Committee Chair in my life who demonstrated ALL of these virtues - and that was my own Mother, who is deservedly a Scouting legend in our community. And MERCY did she accomplish a lot during her long tenure!
  14. 8 points
    Really??!?!? Are you serious? If they changed the Boy Scout book to add some pictures of girls and changed some pronouns you would have went nuts claiming they “changed the program”. They are adding a girls book with picture of girls and adding “she” instead of “he”. They did this in a separate book so they don’t upset the existing boys and their leaders... and that is now an issue? WOW! Perhaps we need to add trigger warnings to any BSA announcements going forward so existing leaders can go to their safe spaces prior to hearing such things like there is a scouts BSA book with pictures of girls or uniform pants that come out and are sized for girls. Oh, the humanity! 😀 There is a lot to complain about but having a separate book (as long as gender is the only delta) makes sense given how they are introducing the program as non coed.
  15. 8 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.
  16. 8 points
    Attention Richard B: I am one of those "old farts," first a district leader in 1962, red jacket and all. Council leader in 1964. You claim that, "The patrol method hasn't changed." Apparently, you don't know what the Patrol Method is. Here is what it is. "Patrols are small groups of Scouts [nb "Scouts"] who camp together, cook together, play together, and learn together. Patrols are where Scouts learn citizenship at the most basic level. They also take on responsibilities within the patrol, and learn teamwork and leadership." BSA July 29, 2018. "For a Troop to be successful in Scouting, the boys must live, move and have their being, in the Patrol." B.S.A., The Patrol Method (1938 ed.) at p 2 “[T]he Patrol must have a genuine life apart from the Troop.” John Thurman. Camp Chief, Gilwell Park, 1943-1969. Bronze Wolf (World Organization of the Scouting Movement) and Silver Buffalo (Boy Scouts of America “[The patrol members] interact in a small group outside the larger troop context, working together as a team and sharing the responsibility of making their patrol a success.”B.S.A., Scouting.org (2018)[emphasis added] “ Scouting happens in the context of a patrol.” B.S.A., Scoutmaster Position Specific Training syllabus (2018) “Patrols will sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements.” B.S.A., Scouting.org (2018)[emphasis added] “Your Boy Scout troop is made up of patrols [nb "patrols, not Scouts], with each patrol’s members sharing responsibility for the patrol’s success.” B.S.A., The Boy Scout Handbook, 13th [current] edition at p. 25" "As a physical aid to help us remember the separateness of patrols, the patrols should camp 50-100 yards apart if at all possible – and apart from all adults." Baden-Powell, BP Outlook , “The Object of Camping” (October, 1909) “[T]he essential thing is that there should be small permanent groups, each under the responsible control of a leading boy . . . .” Hillcourt, William, The Patrol Method , B.S.A. (1930) Notice there is no mention of constant adult supervision. So, if you run BSA, we need changes in what we say BSA Scouting is and is about, especially in training.. In the name of "Safety" you presume to dictate the legitimacy of separate patrol activities - the essence of Boy Scouting. In reality, you are attempting to drastically change BSA Scouting and, apparently, know so little about the program side that you fail to understand what devastating changes you are proposing How do we develop leaders (an actual BSA Method) with adults constantly at hand "supervising"? (It was BSA Safety that kicked off YPT with the supposed rule [short-lived] that discipline was strictly an adult function. So we have seen Safety overreach before.) Where will units find all these extra registered Scouters when shortage of adults is one of our greatest handicaps? How many extra registered adults will it take? Who did the study? Where is the plan to acquire them? I was legal support for Risk Management at AT&T when it had 1,000,000 employees and operated the largest private fleet of motor vehicles in the world - larger than that of most nation states. My supervisor told me on Day 1 never to forget, in balancing risk and benefit, that there was a business to run. That seems to have been forgotten at Safety. "Hive" indeed. Once before, National ignored the "amateur" volunteers and forced implementation of the "Improved Scouting Program." Turned out that was not so great for those responsible when youth membership fell by about 1/3 and adult membership by about 1/2 (even using BSA figures). And this time, Bill cannot come back to pull the fat out of the fire. Buzz, buzz.🐧
  17. 8 points
    This isn't about agreeing with or understanding the concept of gender identity. I'll be the first to admit, I don't understand what those kids are thinking, feeling or going through. I just know they are kids who need love and acceptance and who deserve a chance to get the benefits of Scouting. I've got Scouts that outwardly are not normal -- one on the autism spectrum, one with Downs Syndrome, one in a wheelchair. But with the rest of them it isn't evident until you get to know them. I've got a Scout with hearing loss in one ear, a Scout who has an inner sadness because his Dad passed way when he was in middle school, a Scout who has a fear of fire because of a neighbor's house burning down. I have several scouts who have been bullied including my 6 foot tall, 185 pound, 2nd degree black-belt, son who gets harassed because he follows rules, believes in what is right and just and because... wait for it... he is a Boy Scout and proudly wears Scouting shirts to school. I have a bunch of Scouts who are shy and reserved and bookish or some would say socially-awkward. But it amazing how those Scouts shine when they are with their fellow Scouts or when an adult recognizes their potential. How about the Scout who was eating powdered sugar covered in maple syrup or the two Scouts that were having a contest to see how many spoonfuls of grape jelly they could eat -- that is definitely not normal. Are my Scouts strong - yep. I'll put my 5 foot tall former Crew president against any Scout and she will win in any event. Our Troop routinely wins the camp games at summer camp, not because we are the biggest or the strongest or the oldest but because my guys know that leadership means using every Scout in an event where they can shine. Want to talk smart? I spend most of December writing recommendations for Scouts for a National Honor Society. On devoutly religious, the most religious Scout is one of my transgender youth. That Scout learned sign language so to serve as an interpreter for someone who was completely deaf that joined their church. If you think any kid is normal, you haven't taken the time to get to know them. See, the thing is that I don't see any of those "stereotypes" as negative. I see them all as part of the amazingly wonderful people that have been drawn to our programs because each of needs Scouting for a different reason.
  18. 8 points
    I think it is time for the BSA to stop "selling" their decision and instead look forward and say, here's how it's going to be, here's what volunteers are supposed to be doing about it, etc. They are never going to convince a lot of people that the decision-making process was a good one, and that includes me. If they keep pointing to one survey and not to others, they are just going to keep making people angry. And they can keep talking about the meetings that were held for volunteers in each council, but then they're just inviting people (like me) to point out (again) that the meeting in my council was held in the middle of the summer at 6 pm on a weekday, and the flier that they sent out said not a single word about girls in Scouting as the subject of the meeting. Instead it was "making Scouting more accessible to families." I figured out what it was about, because I read this forum, but the large majority of Scouters do not read this or any other online Scouting forum. So if I were National, I would stop talking about the process by which we got here, because I don't think very many people think it was a good process, except for those who are paid to think it was a good process. They are not going to convince anybody at this point. I think there are a lot of people like me who didn't really think this was a good idea in the first place, but are now willing to "live with it" and even help make it work if I am called upon to do so. We had a discussion about this at last night's troop committee meeting, and we all seemed to be in basically the same boat: Kind of wary of the whole thing, and we're not going out promoting it, but if a sufficient number of girls (and their parents who are willing to be SM/ASM of a girls' troop, and to join our committee) show up on our doorstep, and our CO is interested (which they probably will be), we all seem inclined to help them and become a "linked" troop. So, National, let's focus on where we are and where we are going. Too much looking back is not good for you, National. Try to convince us of that which we know is not true (i.e. that this was a good decision-making process), and you just make us ticked off, which kind of interferes with our "enthusiasm" for helping to make this work. (Or, as Rick says to Ilsa in "Casablanca," "I wouldn't bring up Paris if I were you. It's poor salesmanship.")
  19. 8 points
    Is it ok? Depends. My kids go over the next door neighbors house all the time. We've been neighbors for years, had BBQs together, etc. This is basic social communal structure. If my neighbor was now the scoutmaster, my son is forbidden from going over the neighbor's house to ask to get the ball that went over the fence, or to collect newspaper money or to get a drink of water because two deep leadership isn't present? Counter Counter point... my whole family is now in scouting... if we decide to go on a trip with another family who we're friends with and my kids are swimming... do they have to follow BSA guidelines because my wife and I are BSA leaders? Better question, my whole family is in scouts thanks to Family scouting, and we go on a family camping trip and someone gets hurt, do we file an insurance claim with the BSA because we're all scouts? My kids are all cub scouts and the neighbor's kids are cub scouts. They kids all play in the back yard one summer day and decide to have a water war, throwing water balloons at each other, shooting each other with water guns... is this a violation of G2SS since they're all Scouts? this whole discussion is evidence of litigation gone mad and the "safe space" movement Mike Rowe laments running wild on society. I'm sorry, but if this is where Scouts is headed, that private interactions between families and friends who also happen to be in Scouting is now subject to all Scouting rules... Scout me out. And the primary reason for boys getting together is friendship, not their affiliation to Scouting. Scouting was designed to put framework around friendship, friendship is first.
  20. 8 points
    OK, let me try to clarify my point as well. National obviously wants a coed program they need the numbers ( read $) but is afraid of the reaction if they come out and say so. So they sell us a soft approach " linked troops" now everyone is happy, the girls get a troop and can earn eagle, the old timers can stay all boys, and with all the new female scouters registering there will be more cash flowing into nationals coffers. A win-win-win. But "linked troops" are only going to be on paper 90% of the time. To much bother to have two meeting nights, or places on the same night. Two sets of scouters? Not gonna happen. So says pretty much every one here, every scouter I have seen on Reddit, every scouter in my district I have talked to face to face or on line. So in about 1-2 years National has another "poll" and announces that the current system is unpopular and unworkable so we are now thrilled and proud to go full on coed. They are not stupid they had to have seen this outcome. As my grandfather would have said " A blind man on a galloping horse could see that" So yes, all the reassuring talk about keeping the program intact was, and is , and will continue to be a lie. and I have never wanted to work with people who lie to me, in fact I once quit and took a job for less pay but it came with an honest boss Oldscout
  21. 7 points
    In my 25+ years as a Scouter, this has happened to me multiple times in multiple councils.I have encountered the attitude that because I don't have beads, I know nothing. It doesn't matter that I am a product of the program, or the training I've taken, or the training I've staffed. Heck it doesn't matter that folks are now receiving their 3rd or 4th beads for staffing the course I took and staffed back in the day.It doesn't matter what district and council programs I've worked on, staffed, or organized. Because I don't wear two beads, I don't know squat. I gotta laugh at some things so I don't get ticked off. Best laughs was one district committee I was ona 20+ years ago as OA Chapter Advisor. We were trying to plan something or another (old age getting to me), and I suggested solutions to some problems that were being brought up that I encountered running JLTC at the site we were going to use. I was completely ignored by the other planners except my friend, who was a 3 beader. When he made the exact same suggestions, everyone listened and agreed with them. Another time with the same committee, were were organizing another activity. This time they listened, but said what I was proposing was not feasible, it would never work, etc. My 3 beader friend was there and waited about 10 minutes before smiling at me, and gives them my proposal almost verbatim. Rest of the committee though it was sheer brilliance.
  22. 7 points
    There's also the recurring complaint of not discussing plans for the exact plan of how the whole girls thing will work, but when the magazine starts talking about that subject suddenly it's too much on the plan for girls. there are times when I feel like the point of this forum is for people to complain.
  23. 7 points
    This morning I was paid in full with extra for my time as Scoutmaster. I got this message from a parent 🙂 Thank you again. and thank you for ALLLLLL you have done for our boys. You've helped shape and model and teach and create memories that will always be with my son. There are no words to tell you what/how much that means to me, but you are a parent so I'm sure you have an idea of what i'm talking about. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
  24. 7 points
    Does having adults around on a patrol hike change things? Yes, no mater how quiet they are, and how much in the background they stay. It hurts the scouts. Multiple studies have shown the benefits of unsupervised time for child development. The kids need time without any adults around to grow. Youth Protection is important, but not at the expense of the kids.
  25. 7 points
    I think people get my point though. Sure the BSA has an oath and law. They are pretty generic statements. They define a code of conduct by which we expect scouts to live. The BSA gets itself dragged into these definitions of morality. But it should not and should make clear that it does not want to be. I'm a Catholic from New England that married a Protestant. We have a different set of morals from LDS members in the west. We have a different set of morals from Baptists in the South. 99% of the time we all agree. But, 1% we do not. Why should scouting get itself dragged into taking positions on the 1%? What good does that do for the movement? Better to say - "not my job". Take this discussion of family structure. Why on earth would the BSA want to get in the middle of that? The merit badge should talk about the role of parents and how they help the family. Getting dragged into whether it should say father, mother, two mothers, two fathers, single parent, whatever doesn't help the BSA at all. The expectation ought to be that the BSA finds generic language that permits you and your community to reinforce the morals that are appropriate there.
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