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Fox 76

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About Fox 76

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  1. Fox 76

    Venturing Age/Status Change Coming

    I wish the BSA would have come down firmly on one end or the other of this travesty. The compromise that was made has caused more problems than was meant to solve. They should have opened participation in the BSA program to all (up to age 18), or taken the other stance, and maintained the status quo that existed before the compromise. Personally, I would have equally respected either position.
  2. Fox 76

    Boy Scout Brats

    Generally, I respectfully take an opposite view from the OP. My kids (now grown) and I were also involved in youth sports. I coached soccer and baseball for a number of years, and I have been an adult Scouter for more than thirty years. During the sports years with my kids, my observation was that kids in sports, especially the older ones, tend to be more competitive and egocentric than many boys who only do Scouting. Some have been downright rotten. It has also been my observation that it is usually a parent, screaming from the sidelines, who was behind that rotten behavior and sometimes even encouraged it. Some coaches, too many, foster a commando-like mindset in their young charges. Based on my experiences, many coaches are more concerned about stroking their own egos by reliving their lost youth than they are about teaching self-discipline, teamwork, and respect. I do not agree with the notion that kids in sports are: ".....far more well behaved, considerate and respectful than the Boy Scouts; it's not even a close comparison and I am referring to comparable age groups, 11-18 essentially." My personal belief is that the rivalry, competition and kick-butt attitudes (usually stoked by adult coaches and hysterical parents) that are often present in youth sports will drive away boys who may not fair well in team sports and sit out these events on the bench. More kids are forced to participate in sports by their parents than many people who have never coached may realize. Sports often turn out to be a humiliating esteem-buster for kids like these, especially when their more athletically talented team mates-or even worse, their coach-marginalize them. Scouting is usually an individual effort by the Scout. Yes, the Patrol Method has similarities to the team-concept behind sports. But the level of participation, and the satisfaction derived from it, is up to the individual scout. Have I seen Scouts over the years that I silently hoped would not return to the Troop? You bet I have. Did I, and the other youth and adult leaders in our Troop, try our best to work with them? You bet we did. Another poster raised a valid point: How well do youth-athletes behave when nobody is watching them? Not very well in many cases, quite badly in a few.
  3. Fox 76

    Autistic scouts

    The Scout was not learning disabled. In fact, he was highly intelligent and was on the high honor rolls at school. What he had difficulty with, sometimes a lot of difficulty with, was social interaction. In any case, the situation with his Scouting experience concluded to everyone's satisfaction, and after a lot of unnecessary discomfort and upheaval, we all moved on. But I will never place myself in a position like that again, and as long as I'm on the Committee, I will endeavor to prevent any other adult leader from becoming embroiled with something like that. Basically, parents have to be forthcoming with us and help us deliver the program in the best way that we can for their Scout, instead of being mysterious and overly protective. If they won't, then I would say please take it on the road. As someone else mentioned, we are all volunteers.
  4. Fox 76

    A change for good?

    The BSA’s proposed makeover of the adult bureaucracy behind the Venturing program won’t address why many Crews fail to attract and retain new membership and ultimately fold: Boredom with the individual Crew’s program, or frustration from a lack thereof. The problem is not with the Venturing Program as a whole. The problem lies with individual units, and what I perceive as a widespread misapplication of the program for the convenience of adult leaders. Some, if not most Crews are spawned by Boy Scout Troops, and are set up and run simply as an appendage of the Troop. Such an “attached†Venture Crew can serve as a surreptitious way for adult Troop leaders to, in essence, enroll their daughters in a Boy Scout Troop as, well..... Boy Scouts. That was my experience, and I doubt it's unique. A Crew like this won’t have separate adult leadership (“advisorsâ€Â); a separate Committee; or a separate program that would appeal to older, co-ed membership. In my particular case, they didn't even have a separate treasury or fundraising activities. Eventually, the Crew dwindled and appears to be on the verge of folding, not that it concerns me since we already left that Troop. Older youth who might have joined–and stayed with– Venturing because it supposedly promised a more “advanced†or "challenging" alternative to Boy Scouts will leave such a Crew when they figure out that they are just Boy Scouts with a different shirt.
  5. Fox 76

    Autistic scouts

    We had a Scout in our Troop who was asocial, lacked empathy for others, and occasionally expressed unusual behavior or dialog. He disliked camping, and during a BOR he told us how much he hated all of the other Scouts in the troop. However, he functioned highly on an intellectual level. We never considered him to be a problem, and simply considered him to be somewhat droll. He was never treated any differently by the Troop leadership, until his father started doing Merit Badges for him, and we called them on it. Then it blew up in our faces. It turns out that he had Aspberger's Syndrome, a fact that was kept from us, and we were threatened with a lawsuit, etc. My point is that adult leaders have to be made aware of and educated about these things up front by the parents.
  6. BadenP, I did not ask my question because I was worried about girls kicking boys butts. I asked because I don't think that a Crew's participation in the Klondike in this manner was appropriate. Since the girl/boy issue has been raised (sarcastically), I will only say that it is still called the Boy Scouts of America. No doubt someday the BSA will be called Scouting USA (tried unsuccessfully when I was a Scout in the seventies) or the Scout Association of the United States, similar to Canada or the UK, taking the gender reference out entirely. Scouting in the U.S. has been moving in that direction since the co-ed Venture program started. Some Troops are de facto co-ed already, where the co-ed Crew is basically just another Patrol in the Troop. The Troop that I left functioned precisely that way, but that's in another thread. Judging by a few of the replies I've received, it appears that I will have to accept that my opinions on Crew/Troop interactions are aberrant, if not downright blasphemous. I'll keep my head down on this and concentrate on helping my sons, and the other boys in our Troop, get all that they can out of Scouting.
  7. The crew is not all girls, it is mostly girls. In this case, I could see the difference between a 17 year old Scout and a 17 year old Venturer pretty easily. In any case, I realize my question is inviting considerable derision, and it looks like a hit a nerve or two. Never mind.
  8. There is a huge difference. To me, at least. But I'll throw in the towel here.
  9. Again, would it not have been more appropriate all around to let Venturers "teach" (as in running a station) than compete? Isn't demonstrating a skill to a group one of the tenets of the Venture program?
  10. Actually, no. They didn't "win." In fact, their behavior and skills were far from exemplary. They some lost points for their colorful language skills. I guess my original post might sound like sour grapes to some people. My point is that Klondikes are generally Boy Scout events, and if Venturing Crews can particpate, then it should be reciprocal if a Venturing activity is not age-restrictive per BSA Safe Scouting guidelines.
  11. Our district held the Klondike this past Saturday. Thirty Seven sleds entered, and all but one belonged to Boy Scout Patrols. A single Venture Crew was allowed to enter the Klondike and compete. Personally, I have some problems with this. As a seperate "more advanced" program, I think it would have been more appropriate for this particular crew to run a station for the younger Scouts, as our own Crew affiliate did, rather than compete against them. I see a general pattern in our district where Venture Crews are allowed to fully participate in all district and council wide events, which are usually competitive, as just another Scouting unit. Most of the Crews is our district don't actually participate in these events, but the same couple of crews show up most of the time. There was just one at this Klondike, and it is mostly girls. I have seen Venture Crews referred to as a great training resource in several threads, but I have never seen this concept in action. Late high school aged teenagers can't be really be compared with twelve year olds in a competition, can they? Conversely, our District has permitted a number of Venturing-only events, organized by Venture advisors, that exclude Scouts to take place on Council property, although at one recent "fellowship weekend," a last minute invitation was extended to Scouts who were Venture-eligible (probably due to a complaint, but not mine). To my knowledge, no Scouts took part. I am very interested to see how widespread this "good for these but not for them" method of Scouting is and how other districts address it, if at all. With the logic of the current policy, Boy Scouts should participate in the Cub Scout Eskimo Run as contestants. I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of Venturing, but this just doesn't seem right to me. I want to give it some careful thought because I believe it needs to be questioned.
  12. Fox 76

    Increasing Roundtable Attendance

    In nice weather, we have the last couple of Roundtables outdoors at one of our Council camps. It's a cookout/picnic, and everyone is asked to bring something. These are usually well attended. During the Holidays, the December Roundtable is a festive party, everyone is asked to bring some goodies. On the down side, our RT Commissioner likes to give a long subject lecture at the conclusion of business. It's late (around 9pm by this time), most people drive some distance to get there, so you can put together the rest. The number one reason I always attend is that I am the Troop CC. The secondary reason is the very pleasant twenty-two mile ride on pitch black, deserted country roads, listening to MY music (classic rock) on MY iPod connected to MY 1200W car stereo, sipping a fresh cup of coffee. It's forty minutes of pure meditation...........:-)
  13. Fox 76

    Red Wool Jacket

    I have a new Jac-Shirt, on which I sewed all of my patches from when I was a Scout in the mid-seventies. I was approaced by our Unit Commissioner, who informed me that this would be okay IF the Jac-Shirt did not also have the BSA insignia on the front shirt pocket. According to him, that insignia makes it part of the uniform. Off it came.
  14. Fox 76

    Pitfalls of Starting a Venture Crew

    qwazse, you are correct. My sons are not opposed to Venturing per se, and I'm not either. But the application of Venturing in our case was unacceptable. My older son hasn't been this excited about Scouting since he was a Wolf Cub, and he is at that delicate 14-15 cusp where Scouting loses so many boys. Did I mention that he belongs to a different Venture Crew? One that specializes in competitive shooting sports? It's co-ed, and that's fine with him. But Scouting still comes first.
  15. Fox 76

    Girls under 18 serving on camp staff ?

    Just so I'm clear, we are talking about adolescent girls on staff, not adult women?
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