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About AMulls

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  1. AMulls

    Scouts and Geeks and Nerds

    I agree with what has been said by a few folks. I don't think it's the actual scouting that is seen as geeky/nerdy, but the uniforms. I never wore my uniform to school (scout in the early to mid 90s) and would not have wanted to, simply to avoid the comments that it would have drawn. I wasn't the most popular kid, but was up there with the "cool kids." I had friends in just about every circle. My high school was a pretty interesting place, though, since Drama was a huge thing there. The Drama teacher was also my swim coach and you could walk into any of the drama classes and see the whole spectrum of students- football/soccer/basketball players, skateboarders, intellectuals, artsy kids, etc. And everyone participated in the plays and musicals that we put on. I remember that one kid had to skip a soccer game (playoffs, no less) because we had a performance that night. Some of the folks were in scouts, and most knew I was, but it wasn't a big deal. Had I worn the uniform to school though, I would have been asking for ridicule. Sure, I'd hear an occasional joke, but it wasn't a big deal. And during my senior year of high school, I was dating a cheerleader from a neighboring school who knew about my scout involvement. She even gave me a card when she heard I'd be gone one weekend holding my Vigil in which she called me the "Boy Scout King." Pretty entertaining. So, I think that the activities and models of scouting aren't nerdy/geeky per se, but the uniform is. At least to an 11-14 year old scout.
  2. I agree with pretty much everyone else. I got my Eagle just shy of 16 and continued to be active in both Scouts and Exploring even taking on leadership roles in my OA lodge. I just never felt the palms were that important and didn't mind not getting them. Granted, I needed three more merit badges to earn even the first palm, so maybe that had something to do with it, since I wasn't really interested in getting more merit badges. If I had all the badges done,though, I probably would have found the 5-10 minutes necessary for a SM Conference.
  3. John, I certainly understand that the ACP&P are the overall governing rules concerning advancement, my point was just that if there are hoops through which an Eagle candidate needs to jump, then they should be noted in the Handbook, since this is the scout's primary resource for advancement. Hence my point above about adding some language into the references requirement noting that local councils vary on how that is to be handled. Ha ha, not at all Beavah. I think filling out the application is an easy part of the process, all things considered. And I remember using a typewriter for it. What a pain to try and line up all the different boxes to get the letters in the right spots! However, I would argue that it's not a requirement for Eagle, merely the documentation of the completion of all the requirements. Granted, it has to be filled out in order to earn the rank, so in that respect it is a "requirement," but I don't consider it one of the "Requirements for Eagle." Paperwork always needs to be filled out in order to document advancement. It's just that for all previous ranks, that paperwork is generally filled out by someone other than the scout. But, for argument's sake, the application is mentioned in the Message from the CSE in the Project Workbook which is listed in the actual Handbook requirements as needing to be filled out, so you could say that filling out the application is part of the requirements listed in the Handbook. Wow, that was a lot of "arguing." I feel like a lawyer again!
  4. Ah, thanks CNY. Didn't realize the Project Workbook contained all those requirements. Although, I will say that I stand by what it says in the Handbook. If there is more added by the Project Workbook, then language should be added to that requirement in the Handbook. Perhaps along the lines of: "Your local Council will determine how those references are to be contacted and will indicate to whom the letters (if required) should be directed." Or re-evaluate what's in the Project Workbook in terms of how the references are considered. Example: when applying for a job, I provide names and contact information of references, but I generally don't bring reference letters with me to the interview or attach them to the application. It's generally up to the potential employer to contact the references. I simply LIST the names and information of my references. Seems to me this is what is supposed to be done when applying for Eagle. And indeed, the ACP&P says "The council advancement committee or its designee contacts the references on the Eagle Scout Rank Application by letter, form, or telephone checklist. (The council determines the method or methods to be used.)" Step 6 in the Project Workbook. This, to me, puts the onus on the Council to contact the references listed by the Scout as necessary. But I suppose an argument could be made that some Councils designate the Scout as the person to contact the references, since no qualifications are made about who may serve as the Council's "designee." So, to the heart of the initial question, letters MAY BE required, depending on the Council.
  5. Here's where I'm a little confused (and can't remember what I did when I got my Eagle): It seems there's a difference between what is in the ACP&P and what's in the Boy Scout Handbook. The Handbook shows requirement 2 as "Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life. List the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf, including parents/guardians, religious, educational, and employer references." Taken directly from the scouting.org website(http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/eagle.aspx). This requirement says LIST. It doesn't say list and request a letter. It doesn't say list and obtain and turn in. Just LIST. That to me means that all I (as hypothetical Eagle candidate) need to do is make a LIST of references who would be willing to provide a recommendation on my behalf. Granted, inherent in that is verifying that these people would be willing to provide a recommendation. And the requirement doesn't describe the form that the recommendation must take. So, if a scout only needs to list the references, according to the Handbook (a Scout's main resource for advancement), why are there extra steps mentioned in ACP&P that the Scout is required to follow when he would not generally know about them? The only mention of ACP&P in the Eagle Requirements (on the website) is when it directs a Scout with a disability there to discuss alternate requirements.
  6. AMulls

    Busy doing nothing.

    Brent, I think that was part of Stosh's point. Some PORs do require leadership (SPL, ASPL, PL, etc.), but others do not (Scribe, Historian, Webmaster, etc.). Basically, all leadership positions are PORs, but not all PORs are leadership positions. However, to be signed off on the position, a Scout must have fulfilled the responsibilities of that position, whether it be running the troop (SPL) or maintaining the equipment shed (QM).
  7. AMulls

    Getting Involved Again

    Thanks for the replies, all. I was already planning to swing by the scout office on my way home from work today, so I'll go ahead and grab a registration form while I'm there. Any ideas for volunteer spots? Or should I just let the council know that I'm able to help wherever I'm needed and let them decide? Andy
  8. I've been lurking around the forums for awhile after wanting to get re-involved with Scouting, but I'd like some advice. I'm fairly young (only 30) and I'm not sure of the best way to get involved. What positions would be good? I've been a Unit Commissioner in the past, but that was a fairly short stint before I moved. Any ideas? Another concern is the possibility of another move coming up. I'm looking for a move back to the law and up to a different area. Should I wait and get involved in the council I move to or get involved now? I really have no idea how long the job search will take and certainly don't want to put off getting involved if it's going to take awhile. On the other hand, I don't want to get involved and then leave after only a short time. Suggestions?
  9. AMulls

    What patch(s) means the most to you?

    1. Eagle Knot- self explanatory 2. Explorer GOLD Award Knot- discontinued award now, but loved my Post and the time I had with that. Love that I earned the award shortly before it was discontinued. 3. 1994 NOAC Activity patch with participation pin- wasn't sure what to expect, hadn't been too involved with OA prior to the trip. This trip was awesome! Became very close with some other guys in my lodge and the trip was essentially a spring board for my activity with the lodge, serving as Vice Chief twice, and on the merger committee when our lodge merged, and keeping my Vigil. All started with that 1994 NOAC. Still keep in touch with the adult leaders we had in the lodge. Honorable Mentions: Philmont Arrowhead (particularly cool, since my dad went on the trek as well) First lodge flap (Kecoughtan 463, now merged)
  10. AMulls

    Is it time yet?

    I don't think we should adjust the age for crossing over to Boy Scouts or "split up" the Boy Scouts into age groups. I agree with those that have mentioned keeping the older boys active is the key. I think that bringing Cubs up earlier would just mean younger Eagles and that much sooner of a departure from the troop. And what about those who enter Boy Scouts without having directly crossed over from a Pack, like I did? We moved around when I was a Webelos and the den wasn't great anyway, so I never earned AOL. When we finally settled in VA, I joined the local Troop, I think I was almost 12 by that time. Perhaps I'm a minority in that despite never "graduating" from Cubs, I became a Boy Scout and went on to earn my Eagle. I agree as Stosh pointed out that Venturing is a way to keep those older scouts active in the troop without forcing them to continue dealing with the younger scouts. My troop created an Explorer Post (just prior to BSA's change to Venturing) that most of the boys my age (who had gone through Scouts together) quickly shifted over to. We continued to serve as Instructors/JASMs for the Troop, but were able to plan and carry out events on our own without having to worry about age restrictions or rank requirements (granted most of us were Life or above at that point). The Post also provided us an opportunity to continue with our advancement opportunities, while still giving those of us who weren't yet Eagles to continue down that road. I ended up earning my GOLD Award with the Post (again, this was just prior to the revamped Venturing program in the mid to late 90s). The Post served as a de facto "splitting" off of the older guys while still keeping them involved with the troop. This also allowed a couple of us to remain registered in Scouting as we became more active with OA and other activities.
  11. AMulls

    OA Pocket Flap wear

    I agree with the majority on this one. Is it a bummer that he's not thrilled about the design of the current lodge flap? Yes, but that's his flap. That's the one he earned by completing his ordeal and that's the one that the majority of the lodge likely wears. Rather than wearing a flap from an event that happened six years ago (when he likely wasn't even a Boy Scout), encourage him to attend future lodge events (NOAC this summer, if there are still spots and Conclave next spring) where a separate flap will likely be issued. It will mean more to him to have been involved with the event rather than just getting a "cool" looking flap. Perhaps, as someone suggested, he could even design a new flap for one of those events that he'd be proud to wear. And you could also use this as an opportunity to introduce him to patch collecting/trading. Encourage him to wear the flap he's earned, but work on collecting the ones from his lodge that he thinks are cool. It's always a good place to start and I'm still working on collecting all the flaps that my original lodge, Kecoughtan, issued (have almost all the ones from the new lodge when we merged). It's a fun hobby that will allow him to meet people from all over.
  12. AMulls

    Adding to requirements

    I have to agree with Beavah as well. To an extent. I think the spirit behind "adding to the requirements" is generally well-intentioned. I, for one, feel like it would be pretty difficult to describe a flag that I've never actually seen. Imagination can go a long way, but when you have 10 scouts in a new scout patrol that all need the "describe your patrol flag" requirement signed off, seems like step 1 one should be to make a patrol flag if one doesn't exist. How else are they going to describe it accurately? And if the person signing off the requirement has never seen the flag, then how does he know if the flag was described correctly? On the other hand, keeping boys from getting Eagle before they turn 17 is wrong. That adds what wasn't meant to be a requirement. There is no specific age requirement, so adding one arbitrarily in order to keep kids active is underhanded and un-scoutlike. They'll stay active if there is a good program to keep them active. That should be the goal - keep them active because they want to be, not because you are holding a rank hostage. Uniform requirements are tough. A big part of it is money. Putting together a complete uniform can be pretty expensive. Which is probably why most trooops don't require the full uniform. When I was a scout, my troop only required the shirt and neckerchief. There were ways to encourage scouts into the full uniform, though. We made a day trip (from Virginia) to the 93 Jamboree and were required to be in full uniform to go with our troop. Adding a requirement? Nope. No rank involved. Just common sense that we look appropriate at Jambo. Another way I've seen it done was at OA functions. Lining up for chow time at the dining hall, scouts in full uniform got to go first. Again, no rank requirement involved, just general encouragement to be in full uniform. Overall, I'll go on a limb and say that many of these "added requirements" fall within the nebulous Scout Spirit requirement. So, it could be argued that it's not really adding to the requirements at all. And I'm fine with them for the most part. But I agree wholeheartedly, that common sense should dictate the decisions on it.
  13. AMulls

    Eagle Scout Medal

    I was actually just home for the weekend visiting the folks and going through all of my scout stuff to pack up and bring back to my house. Fortunately, mom was good about keeping all the stuff, so I grabbed everything, including my Eagle medal and my Explorer GOLD Award medal (got it right before BSA made the transition from Exploring to Venturing; it's now a discontinued award). Even had a chance to go through my dad's old scout stuff (and his new stuff, since he continued to be active even after I went off to college). He still has his Eagle medal from the 60s. It's actually the design without BSA on the medal itself. I remember sneaking peaks at that when I was younger and making sure I did what I could to earn it myself.
  14. AMulls

    Life by choice

    "On my honor...to keep myself physically strong, MENTALLY AWAKE, and morally straight..." Yes, a HUGE part of Scouting is the outdoors (and is clearly the favorite part for most scouts). But Scouting is much more than that. The program is also designed to help boys become good men. That sometimes entails doing things we don't want to do in order to better ourselves. It also means being a good person and citizen. Those "homework" MBs that most scouts dread, do accomplish this. And, as I highlighted above, also help them to keep mentally awake. Granted, I'm not up on my history of the Scout Oath, but I'm guessing it was around looong before the Patrol Method went out of style...