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Posts posted by eagle77

  1. Why don't a few adults just sit down with her and have a pleasant chat with her to find out what happen. Everyone has a bad day. If this is just one bad day, sheesh we should all be fired. We have asked parents (and leaders) to stay from scouts, but they were guilty of several incidents. 




      What is this? This mom, parent, adult just verbally abused, bullied, and swore at one of the scouts in the troop (not her own) in front of all the troop members at camp. BAD DAY? Even on my worst day I would never do something as wrong and immature as this. Nobody pushes my buttons but me and sure as anything not some little kid. What if the next time she steps it up and goes from verbal abuse to physical? Can't happen well I witnessed it first hand at summer camp on family night. There was some yelling going on in the site next to ours, my ASM and I went to take a look. As we entered the site there's this mom yelling at a scout and holding another scouts hand. When the scout she was yelling out turned his back and started walking away she let go of the ones hand and grabbed the other by the shoulders and turned him around to yell in his face some more. My ASM and I immediatly went and broke it up, she looked at me and said what the hell are you doing? I looked her right in the eye and said if the scouts own leaders won't protect him I will. The ASM took the other boy to our site to chill and relax. Spent the rest of the night having to write down what we had witnessed and what we had done. Know what the whole thing was over. The two boys were tent mates and the other boy would not let her son hang his wet clothes on the rope that the other had. Can you believe it!!


      Sure there are certain things that can be worked out and talked about, but abuse is one line drawn in the sand, cross it and your done.

    • Upvote 2
  2.  I had originally thought that this mom was a leader or CM from the troop. Since she's not that does change it a little bit. But let's look at this a little closer. First off mom is gone from scout activities (two years at least). Second if this boy was such a pain in the butt all week why was he still in camp on Friday night? I have been in charge of summer camp for 20 years as both ASM and SM and every once in awhile would run into one of these kind of kids, he's not homesick (which is a different matter altogther) he just doesn't want to be there. Since he doesn't want to have a good time he is going to make sure nobody else does either. You want to let one bad apple spoil the bushel? Be my guest but I have 20 or more other kids that are there to have a good time including me. The needs of the many out weight the poor attitude of the one. First I let his tentmate, PL, or SPL try and fix the problem if by Tues. morning that hasn't worked then it is time for a SMC. Talk in a nutshell, either chill out and stop being a pain or I'm calling mom and dad to come and get you. After that the boy suddenly makes a 360 and he and the troop have a great week. Never had to send a kid home, and never had to spend a full week with a pain in the butt either.


      Take another look at it, mom's son couldn't get this kid to lighten up, other scouts in the troop couldn't do anything, heck the adult leaders didn't do anything either. So come Friday he went to the one person he KNEW would do something mom. As far as mom is concerned good day, bad day, that day sorry just no excuse for what she did. There are only two people in this world that I would allow to yell and talk like that to my son, my wife and myself, and sure as hell I'm not going to do it in front of an audience.


       Now down the road are the other scouts going to remember this week as the first time they shot a bulls eye in archery, got back into their swamped canoe, carved a kneckerchief slide? The first and main thing they will remember is Johnny's mom flipping out on Steve. The 20 nor 30 minutes that this may have taken place just ruined an entire week. As Stosh said this is an adult verbally abusing a youngster. Sorry just no excuse whatsever for that.


      Oh and family nights suck and have no place at Boy Scout summer camp!!!

  3.  Packsaddle had some good questions. Here are a couple more. How many other parents were in the site to see this? Was she loud enough that neighboring sites heard and came by to see what was going on? I do like the one question pack had, what are the boys parents saying comcerning this?

  4.  First off she needs to be shown the door ASAP.  Next I would be way more worried about many of the other parents getting wind of this and pulling their sons out. The fact that she holds some position in the troop may send the message to others that this is how ALL leaders handle things. I've watched well established troops go right down the toilet for issues just like this. You need to meet with all the parents and come up with some way to smooth this over and reasure them that this is not the type of behavior that the adults of the troop support. I understand your concern for her son but right now I would be even more worried about the survival of the troop.

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  5.  The only scout leaders I fired directly were the SPL's the PL's and the QM were fired by thier patrols and the SPL. None of that happened though until I could get it through to the boys that if you want to hold a position and lead you would need to do the job. The SMC's were my courtesy to them. They were well aware of what they had gotten themselves into.

  6. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this issue.


    The SPL and ASPL are trying to run a troop of 25 boys.  Good luck with that.  A highly trained professional teacher would have a fit with a classroom of that size and they can demand compliance with a snap of a finger or the evil eye.  And you expect an immature boy to be able to do that?  That is how one sets boys up to fail.


    10 seconds after seeing an SPL with electronics that are not allowed, he wouldn't be SPL anymore.  He is totally unable to lead by example.  


    No one's listening to the ASPL, now the SPL?  No problem have the SPL direct all the PL's to take charge of their boys and get organized as a patrol.  Your comments never mentioned the PL's doing anything.  It's about time they start.  If one has a boy-led program it HAS to be patrol-method.  The group of responsibility is too large otherwise.


    The new SPL is there to help the PL's get their patrols in order, not do it for them.  The PL's need to step up or be replace on the spot.  Otherwise let them wallow in their ineptitude.  It's not the SPL's job to babysit patrol members, just PL's.


    So, what's the issue here?  First of all there is a total lack of leadership skill showing at all.  Marginal management skills are there, but not sufficient to handle that large of a crowd.


    Here's how it works.  


    Friday night, the SPL directs (management) the PL's to separate themselves from each other and set up patrol camps.  No more troop camping.  PL's are now responsible to take care of their boys.  If they need help, send their APL over to get the SPL.  


    So the APL shows up and asks for the SPL's assistance.  He goes over to the patrol and the PL says Johnny won't help out with anything.  SPL confirms that Johnny isn't doing anything.  Asks PL what he wants him to do about it.  SPL is there to assist the PL, not do his job for him.  PL says he doesn't know.  SPL says when he figures it out, send the APL to fetch him.


    Until the boys realize the game is self-responsibility, they are all going to slack off.  When no one shows up to feed them, tuck them into bed and read them a bedtime story, they will quit acting like invalids.


    If we are expecting the boys to grow up into manhood, it is a good time to quit coddling them like infants and expect them to man up.  As long as there are adults there to be their personal chef and valet, they are not going to lift a finger.  Heck, if I were to be waited on hand and foot, I'd slack off too.  


    Boy-led only works in the patrol-method troops.  The reason you think it works better in the smaller troops is because a troop of 8 boys is really only a patrol.  When one gets up to 25 boys there has to be 3-4 PL's working to make it work.


      In my first 3 years as SM I fired 4 SPL's, 9 PL, and 1 QM. Once the boys realized I was not kidding around and they would be held accountable for doing their jobs the rest was easy. Had a couple of parents take their boys elsewhere, no problem.  Setting the proper example is job number one if you ask me.

  7.  No chiding from me either. The second year that I was SM I had a few boys and their parents that thought they would test me and see just how far I could be pushed.  My problem was with cell phones and game boys at the time. oh and don't forget that lazy "take care of me" attitude that some of the boys had. Sorry but I don't believe that technology needs to be at the boys access 24/7. Before camp I told the boys NO game boys and all cell phones will be handed to me and if you needed to use it come to me and you will use them right there in front of me. Just like the pay phone rules that many camps have.Saw a few boys playing with game boys in their tents and caught a couple more talking on phones behind their tents.. Plus the entire site was a mess, things just laying all over the place, don't even get me started with how messy the inside of the tents were.Got up early Tuesday morning and packed all my gear and had it sitting outside my tent. One of the scouts walked by and asked why my stuff was packed, told him that we would be heading home after breakfast. Once what I said to him sunk in he ran down to the rest of the scouts and told them what I had just said.


      In just a few minutes I had 32 boys all gathered around the leaders site. The SPL wanted to know if what he had heard was true. I told him if he meant about going home I said yes. Looked at my watch and told them it was time to head to breakfast. All you could hear walking to the mess hall was their feet shuffling through the gravel and dirt, quitest area in the mess hall too. When we finally got back to the site had a couple of the boys say that it wasn't fair that everybody had to go home, they followed the rules and shouldn't be punished for what the others had done. Told we were there as a troop arrived as a troop and would return as a troop. Then I told them if you couldn't follow simple instructions what is going to happen when I give you instructions for other things that could involve safety or even their lives? In 10 minutes I had 6 game boys and 8 more cell phones sitting on the table.


     Long story short, we remained the rest of the week and had a great time. When we got back home 3 parents took their boys out of the troop. Two returned 3 months later. No loss.

  8.  He never has been interested in justice. Tell you what when that young kid did the shooting in SC Obama came out and spoke down about slavery. Right after that he told his negotiators working on the Trans Pacific Partnership to lighten up on the rules against Malaysia's human trafficing. You know if I was a reporter I would not know how to approach this guy, you never no which end he is going to talk out of. What bothers me more then anything is the simple way the American people and Government is just letting him destroy our nation both at home and abroad.

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  9. You know Stosh I have always supported ones right to bear arms. Never owned a gun myself, didn't hunt and really saw no need for it. A few years ago though I said enough is enough if my own government refuses to protect me and my family then I guess its up to me. Bought a gun joined a club and learned how to use my weapon.  Been packing since.

  10.  Until our law makers stop worrying about offending Latinos and worry more about protecting All Americans this is just going to continue. Look at how they hung Donald Trump out to dry for his remarks. Not a fan of his, but a good amount of what he said wasn't to far off the truth. Every time something like this comes up all you get is lip service, we don't have the money to protrect our borders or the manpower. I guess you wouldn't if all you worry about is the Middle East and Afganistan. We need an American President not some world peace-keeper.

  11. I was at summer camp with my troop two weeks ago and the staff was commenting on how cool it was that my patrols had their own cook sites. I looked around and my troop was the only one where the patrols cooked on their own. The Council exec came to talk at a SM dinner thing and he asked what the adults needed more of. I said I wanted more patrol activities. Cooking and cleaning were the only patrol activity and it's hard, I wanted some fun things for the scouts to enjoy together and MB time was preventing that. Give us the canoes outside of class, organized geo cache, at least give us some maps of local trails so my patrols could do that. I got a blank stare. I went up afterwards and talked to him individually and he just couldn't understand what I was trying to get at. This was the council exec!


    I don't think anyone would even start something like scouts today. Today, everything is about competition. Sports rule. Band used to be about appreciating the arts. Now that's being pushed out in favor of band competitions. I like competition but when it becomes all encompassing it kills the magic of a campfire, or helping someone fix a tire. Just to appreciate life's best moments.


     For every leader that complains about what you did he most likely gets 10 more that want more merit badges and larger size classes to accomidate as many boys as possible. The one thing I have always done in my time as an ASM and SM was got  those pre camp and post camp meetings. A beach ball going down the shore line doesn't roll as much as I would roll my eyes. Talk about people without a clue. One major thing I would always hear is we need more Eagle badges so that the older boys would have something to do at camp. One year in camp I had a SM come up and ask me how did you "bribe" your older scouts to come to camp?  I looked back and told him that I don't insist that scouts have to be working on a badge at every session of the day. (Like he did) After 3 or 4 years of that and the boys or their parents feel no need to go to camp because they have already earned most of the badges from camp.


      Tell you what I really don't blame the camps for this as much as lazy scout leaders and materialistic type parents that feel if Johnny can not come home with a hand full of badges then why attend. The last few years I had to argue with CD over the fact that some of my boys had gone to open shoot at either rifle or archery range and were told that those working on their targets for the merit badges had first dibs and if there was any room or time regular shooting might be done.I got so mad one time that I asked for part of my scouts fee be refunded because they were not allowing my scouts the chance to shoot. Later that day he came to our site and informed me that after dinner I could bring any of the scouts in the troop that would like to shoot down to range.


     A couple years ago while at camp I was sitting having a cup of coffee after dinner and just looked at the boys in the troop. Here they are it is beautiful out and they all were sitting at picnic tables writing. Really is this why I give up my free time to drive 4 hours away so the boys can do school work?  Like it or not I think what people call "scouting" today sucks.

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  12. @desertrat77@eagle77 this was in VA Beach. Doing basic 10 years later in the same waters had me thinking twice at night, in the water and trying to get to shore in one piece. :)


      I still have some reservations going into salt water, between Jaws and now Shark week all that I keep hearing in the back of my head is dant, dant, dant, dant.

    • Upvote 2
  13. Bad Wolf, that is funny!   We were in Arizona, and went to camp that August.   The pool was about the size of a suburban living room.   Very small.   Yet the water was very murky.   Literally could not see the bottom of the tiny pool.  I don't think the movie impacted us too much in AZ, yet that dark water memory remains.   I spent most of my time at the rifle range.   With very little spending money, I ran out quickly and could not buy ammo.   So I struck a deal with the range staff.   When there were no shooters, I would police the brass that had fallen forward of the firing line, and was mixed up in the pine needles and sand.   For 100 empty brass casings, they would give me two live rounds as payment.   Seemed like a pretty good deal at the time!


    Eagle77, serendipity...the last camp I was able to attend (2009) was Rodney.   I was still in the AF, stationed on the east coast, and was about to deploy for a year.  I was a UC, and a troop invited me to attend camp with them.   It was wonderful.   Our campsite was right on the edge of a cliff, overlooking Chesapeake Bay.   I slept with the tent flaps open, and the breeze from the bay made for outstanding sleeping.  I wasn't able to stay the entire week due to predeployment prep, but the three days I was at Rodney were superb.   A great camp, solid traditions, good programing, engaged staff.  I've moved a couple times since, too far away to attend Rodney, but I'd encourage everyone to go.   They'll have a great camp experience.  


     That was the last year that I was there too. We were back in the Lenape cabins which were back behind the pool. Rodney is the only camp in our area that I know still offers troop cooking, bringing our own food and making up the menu is the best. Plus I find their program and staff to be top notch. Those cliffs weren't always there, a few bad storms came right up the bay and took a good part of the shoeline away. They were worried at one time that they may lose their Nature lodge to the bay. The old swimming area was just passed the main parade field.

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  14.  I've been reading through is as it has gone along. I have only one question. If the picture of the young man who did this was holding the stars and stripes would SC have even considered taking down the stars and bars?

  15. First off, I am not a swim instructor.  He needs professional swimming help not mine or my sons help.  Swimming is a life skill, he is very far away from being able to pass the test.


    Secondly, mom has known he needs help swimming she has told us he needs lessons but she has decided not to send him.  He does manage to go to a bunch of expensive camps already, so that is where the priorities are.


     You mean I was taught how to swim by a non-instructor. (dad) Yes it is a skill and believe me once you get a person comfortable with just being in the water the rest comes easy. I've taught many boys who never learned to swim how to and I am no instructor. I am in the process of teaching my 4 year old granddaughter. It is just like fire building or lashing, a skill that can be taught without having some kind of special certificate. Now was he handicapped in any way?  This could be a problem and in that case I would want to get an instructor. You never mentioned the other camps.

  16. ROFL. Mine was 1975 too. On the way to camp the troop stopped and camped on the beach which butted up against this fence line. On the other side of the fence was a drive in movie theater. We snuck out after lights out and worked our way to the fence line. We could see the screen just fine and the ambient sound from the speakers was just enough to hear the dialog. Waves were crashing in the background.


    The movie? Jaws! June 7, 1975.


    No one in my patrol went in to the water the entire week. We just punted the swim test and hung out at the trading post.  ;)


      That summer we were at Camp Rodney which is in Maryland right on the Northern part of the Chesapeake Bay. Back then swimming and boating was done in the bay. The pool was only used for swimming and lifesaving merit badges. It was hot that week, but not one single one of us would go down and swim in the bay. Instead they had these outdoor type showers and we would put on our bathing suits and cool off there. SM asked what our problem was, were we too lazy to walk down to the bay and swim? My PL looked at him and said we went to the movies last week and saw Jaws. He looked at all of us and just laughed.  Then he said this part of the bay was fresh water. PL looked back and said I can't see bottom. Aahh the good old days!!

    • Upvote 1
  17. As a Scoutmaster,  I considered 1st Class to be the most important rank in Scouting.


    The promise of Scouting is to make boys modestly competent at hiking, camping and outdoors activities  ---skills that are the core of the journey to 1st Class.


    BSA tends to offer special support to boys on the journey to first class as well,  just as I did.


    After that,  boys decided what else they wanted to do in Scouting.  If they asked me for help, I was glad to do so.  If they were happy to stay 1st class,  that was fine too.


    In my opinion,  boys have the opportunity to learn what Scouting means by 1st class.   Star, Life and Eagle are fine,  but you are really just continuing to polish the apple.



    I also pretty frequently encounter adults who APOLOGIZE for not having been an Eagle.  I tell them my opinion that 1st Class is the most important rank,  and most are RELIEVED by that. 


    Eagle is fine,  but over rated.  Because it is overrated, FAR too many boys are carried into the Eagle's Nest by their parents or other adults.


     I will kind of disagree with you on this. Yes 1st Class is one of the most important ranks there is. Because once 1st class you have learned all the basic skills needed. Star, Life and Eagle concentrate on the other important part of scouting and that is leadership. Yes I know one can be any rank and hold a position, and I call them learning teachers although they may have some of the skills they are still learning the others needed to get to 1st class. For the higher ranks you are now asked to take those skills and begin to run the program and lead the younger scouts.  


      Yes I do agree that in certain ways Eagle is watered down, but because of the leaders and parents that pencil whip their kids through to be Eagle. Summer camps that have become merit badge mills, merit badge colleges and troop wide merit badges. Being the only Eagle ever in my family I take a lot of pride in my accomplishment. Oh I did not earn Eagle for any other reason then to prove my dad wrong. He told me I could not do it and being the rebel teenager that I was I just had to prove him wrong. So he got what he wanted and I got what I wanted.

  18. Eagle, I concur.  Over the last several years, I've noticed the trend where camps offer a huge array of MBs.  Many of these MBs have nothing to do with the outdoors, and are best earned in town, on a cold winter's night, in between troop campouts.  The marketing approach makes it sound like a super deal--look at all the stuff we offer!   Then you walk around camp and see kids spending hours hunched over a picnic table, doing homework.   Or they are sitting on a log, listening to a lecture.   As you said, what a waste.   The scouts should doing the things you mentioned.  Be the first in line for open swim, hiking with their patrol, throwing a Frisbee around the parade field, or sitting on the stoop of the trading post, drinking a root beer float and laughing with their friends.   But that essay isn't going to write itself--back to the picnic table!


    Your post made me think back to my summer camp days:


    First summer camp:  zero

    Second:  2 and 1 partial (overachiever!)

    Third:  2

    Thereafter I was on camp staff for 3 summers, and earned 1 or 2 over the course of a summer, if that.   My last summer, the last MB I earned before I turned 18:  basketry.   Took plenty of ribbing for that!


     desertrat77 your killing me. I just went back to  1975 was walking with a couple of buddies from action archery and stopped at the TP for a rootbeer float. Aahh the good old days. The only required badge I earned in camp was swimming and that was my first year at camp. Did one year as CIT and another as staff, never earned one badge doing them either. Way too much fun to sit and write outdoors. You got me on the basketry one though I did do it as a patrol badge when I was 16.

  19. A bit harsh there Eagle77?    Not everyone has a 4' pool or easy access to one


    Neither do I, now. The point was to offer to help not whether I had a pool or not. Change to the community pool, Y, or school pool. That's what you got out of what I said? I have met many boys in my time as a leader who have never been introduced or even given the chance to learn how to swim. Instead ofr blaming parents maybe it would be helpful to offer to help. The offer could also be done right there at camp.  

  20. I love working with the boys, they have such a great time and I love seeing their smiles.  But when the parent drama kicks in, I wonder why I do all this.  For instance a boy falls his swim test because of his abilities, the parent starts saying he will not be going to camp is just petty and the only one it hurts is the boy.  He could be enrolled in swimming lessons to potentially save his life but no he is now being punished because he can't swim.  What a great lesson to teach him.


    Sigh, we should be able to drink in the program.....


    Sorry just needed to rant.


      Here is my reply. I have a 4 foot pool, why don't you and your family come over Saturday and we'll work on getting your son comfortable with the water, have a little cook out and just enjoy ourselves. Or my son and another scout will work with your son at improving his water skills. Parent was not helping, maybe they couldn't,  but sure as anything neither were you.

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