Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by eagle77

  1. I agree 110% I am getting strange looks when I tell folks my son didn't earn a single MB this past summer camp. All partials. Folks think I wasted money sending him to camp. Funny thing is I'm really proud of how he acted. He was assigned by the SPL as "Acting ASPL" whenever the ASPL was out of camp due to baseball. He looked after the first year Scouts, even helping one homesick Scout out. Did I mention he's 11 and this is only his second summer at camp?


    "Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" 


    As for advancement being secondary, my troop is slowly turning into advancement oriented. Reason being we got a Philmont crew that our older Scouts are going on, but they need to be First Class. Out of the entire group going, only 3 are First Class or higher. Rest are Scout or Tenderfoot.

     The most MB I earned at summer camp was 2 and that was twice. Otherwise I only earned one and that was the one I did with my patrol. In my patrol we decided to work on one merit badge together at summer camp. Generally this would be a handicraft or nature type badge. Somebody once said that the more a patrol does together the stronger and better it will become. Green Bar Bill was right. Summer camp was a chance to go around and try things that might not be easy to do at home. Rifle range, archery, boating, etc. Today you go to earn badges. What a waste.

    • Upvote 1
  2. (I imagine this has been discussed before, but I cursory search didn't turn up anything for me.)


    Part of what is great about Scouting is the history and ~100 years of tradition.  But for a moment, assume that didn't exist.  What would the program look like if it started in 2015?  I'll take a stab at some things to kick this off.


    (And for the sake of avoiding a political derailment, less try to avoid arguments on the right/wrongness some of the more sensitive issues and just stick to the actual question of what scouting would look like.)


    -Scouting would not have any formal religious ties.  For right or wrong, religion is something that is more avoided today than embraced.  In a fresh program I would see no formal Duty to God requirements or religious emblems.


    - Shouldn't have been included in the original program either. But not for the reason you give. In certain areas of the country religion is still highly embraced. I would include a religious emblem or medal for those that would like to work or further their religious journey. Just not have the belief that only religious have morals.


    -The gay scout/leader issue would not be a hot button topic.  This is because there would be no history of excluding that class.  It would get as much attention as soccer clubs today get when a coach is gay - which is negligible.


    - Your kidding right!! There may have not been a history in the new scouts but there would be history. That gay soccar coach isn't sleeping in a tent or cabin right by your son. This would still be a big issue.


    -There's a good chance separate boy and girl scouts would not exist.  Today we rarely see gender exclusive organizations.  I Thatr  bet we'd see a single Scouting organization which is either truly co-ed or has separate boy and girl divisions (again like a soccer club might do today).


    - I can agree with this one. Although I do believe it would have seperate boy and girl troops. Going co-ed would have to be looked at and maybe added later as a local option.


    -Charter organizations would not exist.  I don't think the need for a sponsoring organization is seen as necessary today.  A fresh scouting program today would be much more independent.


    - Where would the meetings take place? In some areas public places are not free and you would be required to pay some kind of fee. I may not agree with the total CO type thing but over all I think it makes things for many groups out there much easier. And cheaper.


    I have other thoughts, but will leave room for others to comment.


    - You forgot the brass ring. BSA's "Big Mac" or "Whopper" is Eagle. Without something materialistic that the boys can take further with them you would have very low turn out or interest. Fun and challenges do not cut it with many of todays parents. They instaed would have their sons or daughters concentrate on something that they may be able to put on their resume. You would be surprised at how many parents actually believe that learning can only take place in a classroom and come from a book.


    (My only editorial comment will be this - As I think through the question, I'm pretty sure I like the current program more than what "new" scouting would be.)


    - Can't even agree with you here. The real true scouting type program was pre 1972. Todays program is based on business management and individual accomplishments. Although pre 1972 had some individual things to it it was also way more group or patrol type activity oriented. Back then the most important leadership position was the PL today it is the SPL. How does one become a good SPL if he was never a PL?  Summer Camp was at one time a fun and challenging type of activity, today it is a merit badge mill. The entire preogram today keys in on advancement and passing requirements. Ifr you find a group that holds these as secondary grab and join it right away because they are little by little becoming the rare thing to find.

  3. I'm sure this is a really dumb question, but I'll ask anyway.  In a group of lds moms, I asked about their sons' lds troops, etc.  (Most stated that their troops were very active- either camping or having an activity at least once a month.)  One lady stated we should not be hard on the lds leaders, since most of them have jobs and families.  It's just too hard for them to do a decent job at scouts, too.  Am I right or am I wrong?  Do totally volunteer leaders tend to also have jobs and families, too?  


      I am not LDS and was a scout leader for 15 years and had a family and job. In the 10 years I did as SM I missed 2 activities. Our troop did 10 activities and 1 summer camp each year as well as a HA trip every other year. It all boils down to how much time a volunteer has or is willing to give as a leader. But I don't always get the LDS side of scouting Sorry it is not just LDS volunteers that have family and jobs.

  4. I guess I have always put Scouting at higher than other extra curriculars - closer to faith for me as Scouting WAS my church growing up.


    Buts lets think about that comparison some more: 

    I don't accept less than 100% on the field when I coach, why should expect anything less than 100% from Scouting. I KNOW that the boy is capable of more - so how much do I leave him alone?


     My son was a Life scout needed only two MB and his project to complete Eagle. But he was involved in another activity that he really loved and enjoyed doing, and was really quite good at it too. Problem was he would have to do one or the other no way could he do both and get out of either what he wanted. Being an Eagle scout myself I would have loved to have seen him earn Eagle as well, but I also saw how very good he was at the other activity, but even more how much he loved doing it. When he asked to talk to me about it we sat and discussed it. All I could tell him was he needed to make this choice himself, no matter which way he would decide I would support and stand by his choice. I can not describe to you the look of relief that came over him at that moment. Yes he could have done 50% of scouting and 50% of the other, but all he really would have gotten out of it would have been 100% of nothing. Sometimes we just need to put the percentages away and just let our children have fun and learn as they grow, but more then anything being understanding and supportive of some of the choices that they make while maturing.


       When I was a coach I expected players to do their best and have 100% fun, its a game they are playing. Until we teach our youth that it doesn't matter if we win or lose its just having fun that is the most important part of playing games. I guess that comes easy for somebody right outside of Philly, God knows we have learned how to lose.

  5. It is an interesting question. How much choice and freedom to give a son, a Scout, a child.


    So you back off, let them miss the Eagle. OK

    How about homework? Do you let them get the D, the F, the C? Even though you know the impact it will have if they try to go to college?

    Wherefore faith? Do you let them choose their faith, don't require church?

    Health - they will feel the impact of obesity. Do you just let them make the choice? If everyone is spending the same amount for dinner, and the fat one goes for the worst food - do you intervene?


    I am not trying to equate all of these - just brainstorming a list. I am thinking about all of the times when we DO push, or effectively make the decision for those in our charge due to our knowledge and perspective of the long-term impact of their decisions.


    How much freedom, and consequences, can you handle? SHOULD we handle?


    Do you let your son quit Scouts because it is uncool? What else will you let them quit? Will you sign the paper letting them drop out of high school?


    How important is Scouting?

    How important is education?

    How important is health?


    I agree - by the way, that pushing someone too much won't do you much good. Too much bribery is also bad. Somewhere in the middle is the encouragement, support, and gentle nudging. All of these are VERY dependent on the youth (or adult). 


     So we are going to compare an extra curricular activity to education, health, and faith? Let's replace scouting with say football or band. As a parent I expect my children to their best at what they try to do. "Their best" not what I think their best should be. If by that time in their life I cannot tell what their best is or isn't then I have not been much of a parent then.



    There are a lot of Eagles who forget how to be first class scouts :(. (Can you blame them if they have to finish their scouting carreer doing the pencil-whipping involved in some of those required badges and service projects?) Our job is to guide them beyond the ranks so they adopt a state of mind and body that many other folks avoid.


     I agree 110%. Problem is though is that many of those that are there to guide them are the "folks that avoid" the state of mind and body.

  7.   He does not pound out requirements for me.  The ones I've been bugging him to get finished are the prerequisites for camp (camp is Monday and this stuff really needs to get finished) and then finishing up merit badges that are almost finished.  The only eagle required of that lot is family life.  He has to run that family meeting. He's the one saying he can earn eagle by 13.  


     No comment.


    Still- his troop is NOT being very scout-like with their ways.  Two meetings per month.  If they even work on a badge, it's because sm chose it.  (They're doing first aid because some boys are doing first aid at camp.  My son has first aid, but it's the kind of thing that's great to review.)  Most of the time they play kick ball or deal with stuff like fundraising or going through troop equipment.  When is he supposed to be working on merit badges if not away from the troop?  The troop isn't doing a whole lot.  Court of honor was a couple weeks ago.  The previous one was in September.  All boys 13+ earned one merit badge, if any.  (The 11 and 12 year olds earned a ton in 11 year old patrol.)  That's 9 months to earn one merit badge.  While I'm sure scouts is more than earning merit badges, I kinda think they should be in the program somewhere.


     Then why is your son in this troop?


    Why not join a troop that would give my son a real position of responsibility and actually expect him to do it?  Or a troop that goes camping, does service, and has other fun scout experiences?  If he doesn't have such a troop, why not work on stuff at home?  Would it be better that I encourage him to do nothing more than what he does at scouts, even though that won't ever earn him an eagle?


      Then why is your son still in this troop? If your son's SM doesn't give him blue cards for merit badges, how does he have all these badges done and how does he know who to see as the MBC?



    Well, I think it's wrong to prohibit scouts for using hand guns, black powder, ATVs, etc. Should I just ignore BSA policy, or should I work the process to change it? What's good for the goose....


       First off you will have a hard time finding any BSA property that will allow you to do any of those there. Second there is nothing stopping you from doing it anyway, just remember any accidents, injuries, or lawsuits that may come from doing these your "butt" would be on the line not BSA's. I had two patrols that wanted to compete in a paintball match, no problem, just can not do it as a troop or patrol activity. Nothing says a group of boys can't go out and do things together. BSA however does not sanction these activities so you would be hard pressed to get a tour permit and  or insurance to kick in should anything happen.


      Next I think that its very "unscoutlike" to refuse membership to "any" law abiding citizen.

  9. On the contrary, I like that you have made an attempt to answer my question. But you responded first with a restatement of your position and then a vague justification that is unclear. I am asking for clarity. Anyone else want to give Bad Wolf some help with this?

    His position is that a good scout should not give assistance to the old scout in the OP, nor to the graduate student in my real-life example. Bad Wolf's justification is that helping either of these persons constitutes moving a line but he is unable to articulate where the line should be.

    In the case of the graduate student, I submit that even the 'line' of the statute of limitation had not been crossed, much less moved, so in that case it is unclear how Bad Wolf's justification of 'line movement' applies. Perhaps someone could help with that one as well.


      I don't think Bad Wolf is all that wrong. In neither of the situations did they do anything to help themselves. Guess it takes me back to what I learned in Sunday school "God helps those that help themselves"  Now as a scout would I assist them in getting what info or what not they needed?  Sure but assist. not do what I feel they should have at least started or looked into themselves to start with.

  10. I am really having a hard time with your distdain for volunteers, and then you throw our Silver Beaver under the bus?  You never know what 1 statement might mean to someone that is reading a resume, they in fact might have been a Silver Beaver recipient as well.    


      Other than the first job I applied for after high school I have never listed my Eagle and later my volunteering as a leader. The different ways that people look at BSA and many of the controversies surrounding it makes me believe I may have a better chance of being hired or moving on to the next step by excluding those items. True the person might be a Siver Beaver recipient or possibly a supporter or member of LBGT too.

  11. Then there's the problem of teaching a class on how to conduct High Adventure.  Is there going to be a class on high adventure whitewater canoeing?  Then another on BWCA lake canoeing and portaging?  Then another on backpacking Philmont?  Then there's the RAGBRAI bike ride across Iowa trip.  Then.... Where does it begin and where does it end.


    My training for BWCA?  I had my brother take me.  He was a charter bud driver and 2-3 times a summer he would get an opportunity to go up to BWCA with a group.  The outfitters furnished everything including how to pack and what to take.  He took a bunch of us scouters up to BWCA and showed us the ropes.  It was all we needed to get ready for a BWCA trek and we took along another troop to show them the ropes too.  They were convinced we were seasoned pros.


    It doesn't take but one outing to learn a lot from those who know what they're doing.


    How does one put that into a curriculum?  I haven't the foggiest idea.


    My Dutch Oven skills come from doing the biddy hen, coffee klatch recipe exchange gatherings where we learned new skill and techniques for the next outing.  If I have to sit through another hamburger cooked in an orange peal or a bacon and egg breakfast made in a paper bag, I'm gonna kill myself.


    Of course lashing a bridge to nowhere is always the highlight of my weekend high adventure.


    High Adventure?  Summer camp, for sure.  As a SM of a boy-led troop, that has to be the most boring week of my life.  The young boys love it or I wouldn't do it.  Last year I took SM fundamentals just to beat the boredom.  It didn't work.


    So what's on the agenda for next week's summer camp?  I'm taking my kayak and hopefully the waterfront people can train me in sea kayaking and I can take the boys to the Apostle Islands for HA.  I'm not taking the boys unless I know I can teach them before we leave.


    It's too bad it takes that much effort on the part of the SM to work out his own training because BSA has nothing to offer at a higher level of scouting.  But that shouldn't be a big problem, boys drop out before they get a chance at HA anyway.  Or do they drop out because the SM's can't offer them HA.  Can't remember which excuse it is....


       My second year as SM I took two crews to Northern Tier, my expeirence, none.  In fact to be honest I had never done any type of HA before this. I had only canoed the local river on occasion but had never done lake canoeing. Which I'm sure you would agree is different. Asked at RT if anyone had done the NT recently or at all. No takers. Sat down with the leaders and scouts attending and discussed what we felt would be needed in preperation for this trip. At this time I allowed the scouts to take over and list what they felt we would need to do before going. Phyisical workouts for upper body strength, swimming MB, canoeing MB, at least two prep trips to test the skills we had. Did I learn all this by doing a trip before? No I learned and used many of the ideas and things that I had from other trainings. I would never knock having expeirence, but should one never try? Oh and the trip was a complete success. After that trip the boys decided to do an HA trip every other year. Since then we have been to Sea Base, Texas, back to NT, and this summer are planning on backpacking the old HA area in Maine. What I think would be helpful is if there was some type of training that would cover some of the HA parts of scouting, not actually doing it but what is needed or recommended before taking one on.


       Granted I do not believe that every SM has to offer HA, but wouldn't it be helpful to at least give them an idea of what it is all about?  What I think some of us keep forgetting is that some of these leaders out there have zero outdoor time. Maybe a seed can be planted, but I feel only if you have the proper soil (training) for it to take root.

    • Upvote 1
  12. When I hired in as an AS in 1981, and was promoted to SM a year later, I had something like 3,000 miles of backpacking experience and modest amounts of glacier and rock climbing experience with the Seattle Mountaineers. Also a goodly amount of snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and rowing experience, trips and camping. I was 31 at the time.


    You don't really need formal training to master any of these sports. Experience and reading is satisfactory, in my view.


    The Seattle Mountaineers has a whole series of classes available, including their Basic Climbing and Intermediate climbing classes, which are excellent. But not really necessary if one goes out and does the necessary trips with experienced people who will teach you or you can learn from.



       How many SM and ASMs do you think have that kind of experience? What should be done with all the others that have no outdoor time whatsoever and basically are in the position they are in because they are the only ones willing to do it? Do you think BSA is going to say no experience no position? Hell no, that's where much of this training comes from.  Granted to some it may be boring, but to others its something brand new.

  • Create New...