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fred johnson

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Posts posted by fred johnson

  1. 1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    Not sure - but I'd hope not.  

    Unless this lawsuit is just a warning shot to remind the BSA not to try and co-opt the term Girl Scouts, I find it very hard to believe this lawsuit is really about the brand confusion.  How many people really get duped into joining the wrong unit.  Other than a few instances of the really clueless, do folks really accidentally sign up for Cub Scouts when they thought that they wanted Daisies or Brownies?  

    I think this is really "West Cola" telling "East Cola" not to use the term Cola in the west.

    My other thought it that this has nothing to do with stopping the BSA, but instead delaying things.  Imagine if there is an injunction preventing the BSA from using the terms "Scouts BSA" or "Scouts" at all for anything to do with girls for the next 3-5 years while lawsuits work through the courts.  In the spring, no more "Scout Me In" and instead it's the BSA promoting "join our leadership and outdoor educational program for girls"

    #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. 1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    Sorta.  I see the GSUSA point.  They have been recognized as the Scouting organization that provides services to girls for 100 years and are claiming that they are the only organization allowed to use the term "Scouts" in association with programs for girls.  I am nor versed in the legal rules here, but it seems clear to me that they own the term "Girl Scouts" (upper case).  It's not clear to me that they own the term "scouts" or "girl scouts" (lower case).  So, in the context of programs for boys, it's fine for the BSA to say "Scouts".  In the context of programs for girls, their claim is that it is not OK.

    Again, I don't hear the argue that the BSA cannot provide these programs - just that they cannot provide the programs for girls and then call them Scouts, scouts, or girl scouts.

    I'm trying to think of a similar analogy

    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.  

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  3. 1 minute ago, Clstlg said:

    He didn't pass and so he feels like a failure.  

    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. 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.  

  5. On 11/11/2018 at 6:19 PM, cocomax said:

    A lawyer (Eagle Scout) goes over the lawsuit with a friend.

    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.  

  6. 2 hours ago, ASMmom1976 said:

    ... Maybe I should join the Eagle Project coordinator team to help give positive support to boys who come up with new ideas. ...

    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.  

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  7. 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.  

    • Upvote 1
  8. 1 hour ago, NealOnWheels said:

    Our troop went to Grand Teton National Park in July.  We have been many places and this has been the most challenging and most rewarding trek we have ever taken.

    Sounds like you use the High Adventure bases quite often.  Have you ever considered rolling your own?

    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.  

    • Upvote 2
  9. 16 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

    Tonight, about an hour before the meeting, he tells me that he would just rather quit.

    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.  



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  10. 1 hour ago, CodyMiller351 said:

    ... these kids (mostly the SPL) are the ones who need Scouting the most (to help "develop" them into decent people).  ...

    (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.

  11. 14 minutes ago, ValleyBoy said:

    I know at this time you have turned this issue over to one of your ASM and a member of your unit committee but they also need to be aware that they are also required under Youth Protection to report this issue to council.   

    Some things you can't hand over.   You need to submit the paperwork.  It's slightly embarrassing to say you handed it over and then submit paperwork, but it's never too late to do the right thing.  Just say you read more on the rules and you needed to report.  


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  12. #1  Bad behavior is hard to change.  You can teach skills. You can help install habits.  You can challenge scouts with hard situations that make them grow.  But bad behavior is much more difficult.  You can make it be less visible when adults are around, but it will come out again when adults are not around.  From my experience, swearing, bullying and abuse stop when the scouts leave and a new culture is created.  

    #2  Bad behavior is infectious.  It's like a threshold.  Once it's crossed, it's not an absolute no.  Then, others cross it too.  

    #3  You are the leader and you can't always be around.  In fact, you don't want to always be around or require that another adult is always around.  So ... Do YOU TRUST them to leave your son with them?  If not, do you think that trust can be rebuilt ?   ... And this is not just as a parent.  You are the leader then the scout's behavior is a reflection on your scouting unit and you.  

    IMHO, it needs to be absolutely clear what is acceptable and not acceptable in scouting.  If the scouts can't function in those boundaries, they need to move on.

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  13. 4 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

    Not to split hairs or lessen the impact, was this a Scouting / Troop sponsored type event or was this just a gathering of youth, some (most??) of whom belong to the troop.

    I don't think it matters in this case.  The group interacting were scouts and it's always a game whether something is a scout event or not.

    • Upvote 1
  14. 28 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    ...  the pinnacle training ...

    I really think this is the key protest I have.   Yes, it's the longest course.  It's the most planned out and structured course.  But it's hardly a "pinnacle" of anything.  

    In scouting, IMHO, the pinnacle of training is years of experience and lots and lots and lots of reflection and discussion with other scouters.  

    • Upvote 1
  15. Get the leaders on the chartered with their primary role.  Ideally, it's their only role.  But, it happens that people hold multiple hats.  Beyond that, the council does not reach into your scouting unit.  If he fulfills multiple roles, that's between him and the other leaders in the pack. 

  16. The answer depends on how the linked troops work.  Is the intention to share committee and most of the leader?  Share resource?  Share activities and schedules?   How deeply linked ?

    My gut says

    • "linked" troops use one web site to coordinate.  Still your choice how deeply to link. 
    • "Independent" troops use separate web sites.

    But, it's your troops and your vision.

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  17. I haven't read the whole thread yet, but I've seen lots of frustration with Wood Badgers lately.  The key complains are two.  First, brow beating people who have not taken it to take it.  Second, over-emphasizing it as way more important than it really is. 

    Over the years, I've taken lots of high performance team building, leadership training and MBA related classes.  When I took Woodbadge, it was good but not enlightening.  In no way way, would I consider someone who took woodbadge as now trained.  IMHO, it has some good training, but it's more about building excitement or rebuilding excitement.  

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  18. Ya know ... troops just don't need to build up that much stuff.  Usually troops have way way way more stuff then they need for a camp out.  

    If you are asking "budget" ... part of the budget is who pays for what.

    • Who pays camping fees?  Are scouts paying per camp out or does troop cover from general fund part of the camping fee
    • Who pays food?  Does a scout collect and then spend from that?  Or does a patrol member submit a receipt for food to the troop treasurer?  
    • How is the troop funded?  

    I ask as it majorly affects your budget plans?  In one troop, the troop charges $20 to $25 for each camp out.  Then they tack on another $5 for materials.  Fuel.  Stove.  Etc.  The goal is the troop should come out ahead by a few days per person per camp out.  That money builds up to be how they pay for tents and other equipment.  

    But you can do it other ways too.  Fundraisers.  Or have scouts bring the equipment.  Or ....

    It really is a double sided budget.  Not just what do you need to spend, but how do you raise those funds too.

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