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Gold Winger

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Everything posted by Gold Winger

  1. Gold Winger

    Dwindling Numbers

    BSA's membership numbers have dropped since the 60s. Why? One arguement is that there is much more pulling at the kids today than there used to be. Sports have become a year round activity and not in the traditional sense of the four letter man. Basketball is year round. Soccer is year round. Baseball is nearly year round. If you want to play a sport, that becomes your life. But sports have a process of natural selection and most but the very talented drop out of overly organized sports by the end of middle school. I don't buy the argument of girls and cars either. Despite what we want to belive, our teen aged boys are not junior Cassanovas. At least the boys that I know. Strangely, it is usually the thugs that have the girlfriends. Go figure. Let's just look at life in general. Until the fourth quarter of the last century, where did kids spend most of their time? If they were healthy, they were outside. If it was hot, they were outside. If it was cold, they were outside. Often, even if it was raining they were outside. Also, who were the heroes of the youth of yesteryear? In general, they were outdoorsmen. Buffalo Bill, Dan'l Boone, Davey Crockett, Tom Mix, John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Lewis and Clark, the Lone Ranger. Even before movies, radio or TV, dime novel cast outdoorsmen in heroic roles. So what did boys do? They emulated their heroes and went into the woods looking for adventure. Even as far back as when Twain wrote "Tom Sawyer" this was the case. Tom and a friend played "Robin Hood." So Scouting would have a natural appeal to boys back then. Hey! We can go play in the woods and our mothers won't get upset about us getting dirty. Something else was different back then as well. Kids of all ages played together. No play dates. No play groups. It was just "play." The older kids ran the neighborhood and saw to it that the younger ones understood and lived by the rules of the block. There was a natural order of things. You may not have been best friends with everybody but everyone made an effort to get along. I learned to play football by playing it on the street. No coaches. The "big boys" explained plays in simple terms. The same was true for baseball. Of course there were times that the big guys would be playing tackle and the little guys couldn't play but that was okay. No one ever said that you had to be included in everything. Also, by being in a mixed age group, you learned that there was different behavior for different situations. Belching was cool if you were just chillin' after a football game with the guys but if you were a young guy and decided to belch when one of the big guys was chatting with a cutie, you most likely would get walloped. This translated into Scouting in that the older boys expected to be in charge of the younger boys and teach them what they need to know. So where does that leave us today? Who are the heroes of today's suburban youth? Not Davey Crockett. Do we even see kids playing like we did back in yesteryear with complex games with complex rules that they make up? Okay, if I shoot you . . . you have to fall down until you count to 100 or the medic comes and patches you up unless I throw a grenade and then . . . Kids don't just go outside to play. Nowadays it's play dates and play groups of very select kids. If Jimmy has a disagreement with Johnny, one is going to be excluded from the play group. Older kids don't go outside to play anymore. If they aren't mezmmerized by their video games, they are being shuttled from activity to activity by their parents. No pick up games. No made up games. Parents are in charge of everything. And of course, everything is divided by lines carefully drawn by age. So where does that leave Scouting? In a big mess, that's where. What's the appeal of going camping to kids who are really afraid of the outdoors? Other than a casual mention in social studies, they have no idea who Davey Crockett is and so have no desire to emulate him. We look to the older boys to provide leadership since their lives have been spent only interacting with people their own age, they see no value in providing leadership to the younger ones. So after 14, they usually drop out instead of saying, "Hey, this is my opportunity to lead." Today's parents are so used to controlling every aspect of their children's lives that they insist on running the show in Scouting. So is it any wonder that Scouting's numbers are dropping? (This message has been edited by Gold Winger)
  2. No, I don't intend to stake them out at 600 yards and use them for target practice with my M1. :-) Seriously. I've never been to a church were unbelievers weren't welcome. Okay, in the Orthodox church, you're supposed to leave about midway through the service so that you don't see the mysteries of the consecration. However, you're still welcome for much of the service. Why not admit atheists with the explanation that there will be Sunday morning prayer and discussions of the creator, by whatever name he uses? If the atheist doesn't like that, he can quite. However, if he sticks around, he might wind up with a greater understanding of the universe and may reach Znerflot.
  3. Gold Winger

    Catholics Wrote the Bible?

    "And I swear my best Scout's Honor on a stack of Roman Catholic Bibles (Who am I kidding- it was the Catholic's who wrote the Bible in the first place!)" What hubris! Moses wasn't a Catholic. Neither was David. I'm pretty sure that Matt, Mark, Luke and John were all Jews.
  4. Gold Winger

    Creepiness?

    Someone recently put forth the proposition that it is "creepy" for an adult to stick around after his son has left the program. What is creepy behavior? When I was kid, my neighbor was an old guy with a big wood shop. I'd go over and watch him build stuff. Some would say that it was creepy that an old guy would be willing to share his interest with a boy. I'm pretty sure that he didn't do anything funny to me. You could argue that it is creepy for women to want to go camping with a bunch of young men. What are they after? Many say that BP was creepy because he liked "boyology" and enjoyed watching boys at play. Is that any different than men going to a basketball arena and watching sweaty young men playing? It's pretty creepy for all of those sportscasters to want "locker room access" so they can be around a bunch of muscular men in various stages of undress. (This message has been edited by Gold Winger)
  5. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    "Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge" or "knowing") is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding of how the physical world works. Through controlled methods, scientists use observable physical evidence of natural phenomena to collect data, and analyze this information to explain what and how things work. " Sounds like drawing conclusions based on observations of phenomena.
  6. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    Mark, it is these kinds of antics that got you suspended from the forums once before. It isn't funny. FScouter (This message has been edited by a staff member.)
  7. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    , it was the orthodoxy of then which is far different from the orthodoxy of now. At one time, the idea that there four elements of earth, air, fire and water was considered science and to claim that substances were made up of of unseeable particles was heresy. You're the one who seems to miss the idea that science changes continually. (I'm sure that will be moderated) (This message has been edited by a staff member.)
  8. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    (This message has been edited by a staff member.)
  9. Gold Winger

    Lem is dead, baby.

    If any part of a pitched ball passes through the imaginary box which defines the "strike zone" while in flight, it is a strike. A common foul is illegal contact which hinders the normal offensive or defensive actions of an opposing player. Technical fouls, intentional fouls and flagrant fouls are different beasts. Pretty simple, eh? Compared to the foul in basketball, a strike is easy. Try explaining to a new coach why a bump at the mid court line isn't a foul but a similar bump three feet from the basket is a foul. Are they called the same by every ump or ref? Not hardly, it varies from league to league and conference to conference. Should they be called the same all over the place? Sure but we're human and the expectations are different in different places. Should we strive for consistency within our expectations? Sure but as officials we are held to a different standard than players or coaches. As an official, I was expected to be right 100% of the time and even a 1% drop was cause for criticism. However, if a baseball player bats .300 he's doing pretty good. Differing standards for different groups. A brave Marine might quail at the idea of running into a burning building and a brave firefighter may well not want to charge down a street under fire.
  10. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    NO IT ISN'T. It is an historical document sent back from the future.
  11. Gold Winger

    Lem is dead, baby.

    Lem, long ago I was getting ready for a basketball game at a "Friends" school, you know, like the one that Chelsea went to. The scorekeeper, a student said to me, "I'm Becky, what's your name." To which I responded, "I'm Mr. Winger." She said, "What's your first name? At this school we call all the adults by their first names." I said, "My first name for you is Ref. You can call me Ref or Mr. Winger." Becky was a bit miffed. The AD was close by and told me that she was a bit surprised by the custom when she came to the school but it worked there. The kids were all respectful, polite and helpful. I'm not in favor of kids calling adults by their given names or even nicknames. Call me old fashioned but that is the way that I am. If if works for others, great but don't expect me to go along.
  12. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    "Not that I'm all that interested in the squabble between you and Merlyn, but you could have used the 4 minute mile case." That's true, they once believed that the 4 minute mile would be run or that the sound barrier could safely be broken or that the atom could be sub-divided. However, back to Lardner, he sure was a crackpot and not at all a member of the science orthodoxy. A lecturer at the University College of London and was granted medals and prizes for his work in logic, physics and math. Not quite the Einstein of his day but close. As for the insults, I do them because they are fun.
  13. Gold Winger

    Follow Me Boys! 2008

    What would that movie be like if made today? Lem would have to be cast as an idiot because in too many movies and TV shows revolving around kids today the adults are idiots, especially the men. So maybe Lem would be a woman, possibly a woman with a secret "life companion." The ASM would probably be lurking around trying to catch glimpses of either Lem (the woman) or the boys in the shower. Someone would come out of the closet. Someone would knock-up his girl friend. There would have to be at least one abusive parent. Oh yeah, there would have to be a steamy sex scene. And people wonder why I don't go to the movies anymore.
  14. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    you claim that it was just "one man" and now you can't back that up because "it don't make no sense." [personal affront] FScouter (This message has been edited by a staff member.)
  15. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    I'm really wondering because this "urban legend" was reported in one of my high school text books as an example of how "scientific belief" changes. Horses are really irrlevant since the belief was that air would be sucked out of the train carriages causing the suffocation. [personal affront] FScouter (This message has been edited by a staff member.)
  16. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    [personal affront], FScouter (This message has been edited by a staff member.)
  17. Gold Winger

    Red Wool Jacket

    Ahhhhh (heavy sigh), BSA patches are supposed to be small enough to fit on the shirt pocket but sometimes folks just forget about that. If you really want to wear the patches on your jacket, go ahead, the uniform police have no arrest authority. However, you can always get a nice red wool blanket and make it into a poncho and decorate it with your patches. Wear it when sitting around a campfire and I'm sure that it will stimulate some conversations.
  18. Gold Winger

    The campaign hat

    Yep, that's one of the names for it. BP called it a cowboy hat. The army apparently adopted the dimpled top during the Spanish American war because the creased crown hat tended to hold water in a rain storm. Some call it a "Montana peak hat," that name came about after WW I. The Marines call it a "field hat." The Stetson of the Mounties as well as the British Scout hats differ from the American ones by having their dimples squarely at the front and sides
  19. Gold Winger

    Red Wool Jacket

    To be by the book, there are only a few patches that are authorized to be worn on the red jacket. They're buried in the insignia guide but basically you can wear a big one on the back, a program insignia on the left front, PTC on the right front, Philmont Bull or the Loon, and maybe a couple more. Just about any patch that you want to wear on the right pocket of the shirt may be worn there. I use the patch holders and switch that patch out every time I put the shirt on. "unless the commissioner paid for the uniform, he had no right to say what was and wasn't wrong with it." Not quite right. One of the duties of the Commissioner Corps is to do uniform inspections. Also, you son may have owned the shirt but he doesn't own the patches. Wazzat, you say? "All badges and insignia shall remain the propertyof the Boy Scouts of America subject to recall for cause by the Corporation or its duly authorized representative."
  20. Gold Winger

    Follow Me Boys

    " I will agree with the literature being more plentiful and better written, training however still had a long way to go." And then it hit its zenith and started a rapid slide back down to the nadir.(This message has been edited by Gold Winger)
  21. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    Well Pack, since you don't like it, it must obviously be a bad idea. I'm sure the guys who are studying the idea are not nearly as qualified as you are. I can't really comment since it is out of my field of expertise and I haven't studied it in any detail. Remember that the great orthodoxy of science once believed that man couldn't go faster than 30 mph or he'd suffocate. In any case, even if it is a bad idea, bad idea lead to good ideas. Just look at how many tried Edison had to make before he found a filament that would work.
  22. Gold Winger

    Alps Denali vs. Kelty Red cloud?

    Mine only took a couple of days.
  23. Gold Winger

    Follow Me Boys

    "Well for starters Barry, how about the Scouts assault on the US Army during practice manuvers?" Having read the biographies of a few soldiers who served between the wars, that wouldn't surprise me. The stories they tell of the military at the time were of officers who were more interested in promotion and protecting their position than doing their jobs, non-coms who were worried about making a misstep and attracting the attention of some "danged officer" and troops who treated most of it as a lark. After all, there never was going to be another war.
  24. Gold Winger

    Dont Blame Me I Voted For McCain

    " Forget global climate change. It's going to happen or it's not going to happen. We're deceiving ourselves with arrogance to think we can turn off a few lights or get a few greater mpg and that's going to make a difference one way or the other." That's what the polluters have said for decades. "Aw, a little bit of chemicals in the ground water won't hurt anything." "Smoke never hurt anyone." "Acid rain? It's cleaning our buildings." We have to start somewhere and every journey begins with a single step.
  25. Gold Winger

    Hezbollah Marshals Scout Troops

    Hey, they're using a three fingered salute and the have their shirts tucked in. What more could you ask for?
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