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fred johnson

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fred johnson last won the day on September 26

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About fred johnson

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    Fred Johnson

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Midwest
  • Occupation
    Software Engineer
  • Interests
    Scouting. Family. Exercise.
  • Biography
    Long term interest in the arts, philosophy and politics. Detailed interest in engineering and new product development. Current hobbies include reading the classics and participating in scouts.

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  1. fred johnson

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    #1 I agree. I think it's more about previously agreeing to not compete against each other. #2 I'm always amazed someone reads something I wrote.
  2. fred johnson

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    I see it like a cola war. Imagine if Pepsi and Coke didn't have strongly distinct names. Instead they were named "West Cola" and "East Cola" and divided the market using the Mississippi river. West Cola would only market to people west of Mississippi. East Cola would market to people east of Mississippi. Today, we'd call that agreement anti-competitive and illegal. Then, imagine "East Cola" (Pepsi) gets all these calls from people west of the Mississippi saying sell to us. We like your product better. So, then East Cola decides to market to everyone and decides to call themselves "Cola New". I think West Cola would respond exactly like GSUSA. There is no new name East Cola could use that would help things. The real issue is East Cola is now selling west of the Mississippi as brand uniqueness depended on each selling to their own separate market as the names, trademarks, terms were just too close. I'm not a lawyer, but it's hard to unravel branding when the uniqueness came from agreeing to not compete and not the branding itself.
  3. fred johnson

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    I'd focus on this more. Let your son know that not everyone will always agree. That not everyone always follows the same rule book. That his project was different, but that does not make it bad. It just makes it hard for some people to understand. I'd do anything I could to change the perception of failure to a perception of something that needs to be overcome.
  4. fred johnson

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    The issue is less about the trademark and more about marketing to both genders.
  5. fred johnson

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    1. Your son's project sounds like one that is different than usual. Leaders often see scouts building picnic tables, benches, building trails, etc. Your son's project sounds different. But, different is not bad. It's just hard for some people to perceive and then to apply the requirements correctly. I've had some scoutmasters say they would rather in the future direct scouts to more traditional projects to avoid future confusion and frustration. 2. If the project does not show enough leadership, the EBOR can look at other parts of the scout's scouting history for leadership. So a project with weak leadership can be offset by a scout who has shown leadership elsewhere. 3. Appeal. There can be times the Eagle project is not worthy. But if your EBOR was not unanimous against and they were suggesting your son appeals, then I'd definitely appeal. Odds are very good for your son. QUESTION - How old is your son ? If he turns 18 soon, you can choose to reduce risk by finding another project. But it's probably not necessary. 4. Scouts don't fail EBORs. EBORs can be suspended and the issues addressed. 5. Adult scouters are people who have different opinions. You may have just run into an adult volunteer who doesn't like the current rules or who does things different than most. It can happen.
  6. fred johnson

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    Loved listening to the lawyers discuss this change. Well done and well grounded presentation. I fear that courts are hard to predict. Judges and jury's are individuals subject to their own ideas, values and opinions. So these guys presented expertise and well grounded arguments, but I fear results can vary.
  7. fred johnson

    broken lantern globes

    Globe ? Do you mean mantels or the outer glass housings? Mantels break regularly, but the glass outer shell should last years. We break maybe one per year. I'd question what is happening. Why the pattern of breakage ?
  8. I've often wondered if there was some option such as letting districts hold SMCs and BORs for scouts that can show they met rank requirements, but have other obstacles ... such as a troop going above and beyond requirement expectations. But, that would subvert the structure and habits of the troop. (not necessarily a bad thing)
  9. fred johnson

    Eagle Project question... help

    I strongly encourage it. It's the exact reason I got involved. I was very upset how things were happening years ago. BUT ... Don't announce you'd like to volunteer to change things. I'd instead get to know people, build friendships, build knowledge and become known to them. Then when an opening happens, step up. It sounds like you fully understand that our role is less about saying no and more about helping the scout succeed and finding ways to make things work.
  10. fred johnson

    Eagle Project question... help

    I would be a bit forgiving to the adults involved. Expectations vary greatly still district-to-district and troop-to-troop. It's hard to get a consistent view on this.
  11. fred johnson

    Eagle Project question... help

    There is no clear threshold for what is a good project and what is a bad project. It's more working through the reasoning and defending your concept. Donating his toys supports the project, but is not the project itself. The donation is similar to a family donating money to make a project happen. It's fine and a non-issue. In this case, it may be a distraction against the real project project. I'd evaluate the project based on the rank requirements which can be simplified to Plan - What is he going to plan? What does he have to solve? What does have to coordinate and make happen? Develop - Given the need he sees, what is the concept that he needs to develop and work through. Perhaps there needs to be a container for each kit. Or, perhaps kids that are emotional need something to take pride in. Succeeding in a build and showing it to others could be something they take pride in. As such, he could add a display shelf for the kids to show their finished work. Doesn't have to be a fancy build. It could be a simple shelf installed and the idea communicated. Lead - How will he show leadership of others? IMHO, you have the start of a good project. Create more detail on what he would "plan, develop and lead". Coach him on defending his ideas and work. Coach him on explaining the challenges. Coach him on explaining the need. Then, have him go back and try again. Here are my main thoughts ... Hours - He would absolutely have plenty of hours of labor. There is no minimum required, but it will take many many hours to sort and re-build the sets so that they can be cleanly delivered. Leading - He would need to setup events where he invites people and gets all these kids sorted apart. Plan - He would need to create a bagging system, maybe add pictures, maybe add counts and weight. Concept - He'd need to work with the beneficiary (school / therapists) to create systems / resources etc that solves a problem they have. Need - If done well, this project could serve a real purpose. I've seen kids in schools such as these. They need things to do to pass time and even more importantly need things they can succeed at and show pride to others. Building a really cool lego kit and having it sit on the shelf for all the other kids to see could be a cool talking point. It could be a tool the therapists use for opening conversations with the other kids. This could be a very useful project. Connection - Plus, the best projects are where the scout has a connection to the organization and really understands the need. I would absolutely not give a quick no on this. Rather, I'd help the scout flush out his ideas until he has a project. I've reviewed way too many Eagle project proposals. Often, it can be a failure to communicate the concept and details. If the project is viewed as "donating his legos", it's not a project in the same way as donating cash is not a project. But if he can describe the need and what his project will do with the donation as a starting point or supporting action, then it would be absolutely fine. Sometimes the out-of-the-box unique projects are the best. Alternatively, sometimes those are the projects that appear weak if the promised "concept" is not delivered.
  12. fred johnson

    High Adventure Ideas for 2020

    We've done a mix of our own and official high adventure bases. Each has a different flavor, but I'll never forget all the ones we did on our own. Our selection was mainly triggered by what was within an interesting driving distance. Sometimes that distance was 10+ hours.
  13. I'm sad, but not surprised. That's a common result of adult conflict. It's very hard to get a troop to change it's ways. What you said reflects a troop that wants the scout to support the troop instead of the troop supporting the scout. It's as simple as that. What you describe in your email ... scouts sitting and being talked at by adults ... committee meeting adult conflicts ... extra rules established to manipulate the scout into a specific troop's goals ... IMHO ... this is what is killing scouting. At this point, I'm becoming a scouting deconstructionist. I'm really tired of seeing adults fight over how to run a perfect troop. Enforce uniforming. Produce flow charts of advancement. Be snarky to their scouts about talking to their SPL and not expect bad behavior in return. ... So, I'm a deconstructionist. Throw away all the extra baggage on how to do things perfect. Instead treat the troop as a collection of groups of friends that want to do things. Maybe the older boys (patrol) want to camp and go skiing or hiking. Maybe the younger ones want to go on a long bike ride. Maybe another group wants to camp at a farm and help birthing calves. Through being active and doing things, we can teach skills and influence character. As scouts step up, we continually step back. As for the rest (advancement, uniform, meetings, etc), use it as you can. But the core of scouting is being active and doing things. And definitely get the adults out of the way.
  14. fred johnson

    PLC hazing and bullying problem

    SSF ... I regret not saying that earlier. @Bside ... I'm also very sorry for what happened to your son and what you and he must now address.
  15. fred johnson

    PLC hazing and bullying problem

    (My apologies. I'm taking your statement out of context.) I always cringe at this statement. Ideally, the behavior of all scouts benefit from scouting. ... BUT ... using a troop to fix the bad behavior of a specific scout will have side effects. Drive away existing scouts. You will lose good kids when choosing to work with the problem scouts. Drive away future scouts. Create a bad reputation for the troop. "Oh, that troop has scouts that ..." Risk infecting other scouts with the same bad behavior. Create safety risks. Create problems for the adults as they are involving scouts that will put other scouts at risk. So, I always cringe when I hear that if any kid needs scouting that kid needs scouting.
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